President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday night gave salute to the new police and soldier graduates urging them to share their success with parents and uphold the values of their alma mater.
“I am really very happy for you tonight. I share your exhilaration. And I, me, I am confident that I will have soldiers, the finest from our military schools and police graduates, that you will be there to secure the Republic for all time,” the President said by teleconference during the commencement exercises of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Masidlawin” Class of 2020 and Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) “Mandayug” Class of 2020 held at the Malago Clubhouse, Malacañang Park, Manila.
“All of you owe your parents so much and that is why I said you should be — I am sure you will find a way to be together even at a distance just to shorten the space,” Duterte said.
“All of you owe your parents so much. That is why I consider this special day as theirs as much as it is yours. This day belongs to you both,” he added.
The President ended his speech by posing a question to the graduates.
“If those who are tasked with the maintenance of peace and order and the protection of public and private property do not do their mandate or worse, commit that which they are called upon to prevent or guard against. Again, I said the question be: what then?
“Sino’ng tutulong ng bayan? Who will carry the liberty? Who will carry our independence? Who will carry the constitutional duty of due process, fair play? These are the things which you have to worry. For after all, your Magna Carta, and for all of us is the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. Remain true to that sacred document and remain as ever loyal to the Filipino flag,” the President said.
With the PMA’s Masidlawin Class assembled at the Fort General Gregorio H. del Pilar in Baguio City and the PNPA’s Mandayug Class at the Camp General Mariano N. Castañeda in Silang, Cavite, the event was the first simultaneous virtual commencement exercises to be attended by the Commander-in-Chief as the country continues to battle the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019. Not in attendance was the graduates’ families and invited guests, and follow the two-meter rule seating arrangements in observance of the strict implementation of social distancing measures.
Among the government officials present include Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana; Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año; Senator Bong Go; Armed Force of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Filemon Santos, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Francisco Gamboa, Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association Inc. Chairman Edgar Aglipay, Philippine National Police Academy Alumni Association Inc. Chairman William Macavinta.