Duterte to PMA graduates: Be loyal to Constitution
President Rodrigo Duterte urged on Sunday the incoming junior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to be loyal to the flag and the Constitution and not to any government official.
This was Duterte’s message to the 167 graduates of the Philippine Military Academy Salaknib Class of 2017 during their graduation rites in Baguio City.
“Just be true to your oath of office. Do not pledge loyalty to a person, a human being. It’s always to the flag and to the Constitution. That is my advice to you,” he said in a speech.
He told the cadets to “never propagate or nurture loyalty to a government worker who is also like you. We are on the same boat, we work for the Filipinos.”
The Chief Executive assured the soldiers that the government will reciprocate their valor and unwavering courage by providing them with all the necessary support and incentives.
“This administration will give you and your families the services, benefits and entitlements that you rightfully deserve,” he said.
The assistance include provision of the proper equipment and weapons, particularly body armors, helmets and rifles as well as short firearms “so that you can defend yourselves even when you are off-duty.
In the next two to three years, Duterte also said the Armed Forces of the Philippines will be provided with flight simulators, radars, support, patrol and assault vehicles, new surveillance and fighter aircraft.
These could be used to “better patrol our borders and guard our seas,” he said.
“All of these we do so that our AFP will be more effective in pursuing its mandate, in assisting law enforcement agencies in battling crime and illegal drugs and in undertaking relief and rescue efforts during disasters and calamities,” he added.
The President also acknowledged that for the first time, female cadets occupied eight of the Top 10 spots in the graduating class.
“With the highest number of graduating women in PMA’s history, this breakthrough is a fitting tribute to our mothers, sisters [and] daughters as we celebrate Women’s Month,” he said.
Of the 167 graduates, 63 were female. The graduates will join the three major services of the AFP ? the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, and Philippine Air Force. Celerina Monte/DMS