President Duterte tells graduates of the PMA and PNPA: Stay Loyal to the Flag, Constitution, Protect and Serve the People

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the simultaneous commencement exercises of the Philippine Military Academy “Masidlawin” Class of 2020 and the Philippine National Police Academy “Mandayug” Class of 2020 at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang, Manila on May 22, 2020. The commencement exercises were held online while proper social distancing protocols were observed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. I Toto Lozano, Presidential Photo

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte urged graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) to remain loyal to the flag and the Constitution—to be true to their mandate of protecting and serving the people.

President Duterte graced the virtual simultaneous commencement exercises of PMA’s Masidlawin Class of 2020 and PNPA’s Mandayug Class of 2020 in Malacañang on Friday, May 22.

In his address to the graduates, the President said people should worry if those who are tasked to maintain peace and order and protect both public and private properties failed to do their duties.

“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,” he said.

“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 challenged the graduates to adapt to the changes through the values instilled in them from the police and military academies.

Values such as love of country, honesty, integrity, concern for the poor and the needy, as well as adherence to the rule of law make a humane society and a progressive nation, he said.

“I suppose that all of you are imbued with these values. After all, that is what your alma mater prepared [you for]. Let it not be said by anyone later [that] in the conduct of your affairs and performance of your duty, you failed your alma mater, and wasted the efforts of your mentors. Heaven forbid. Sana huwag naman,” the President told the graduates.

“Keep that in mind always. The eyes of the Filipino, your fellow alumni and your alma mater are upon you wherever you may be. By your conduct, your alma mater shall be judged. So also shall be, your fellow alumni be similarly treated.”

Also during his address, President Duterte said the country is confronting “troubled, dangerous and abnormal times” as it struggles to contain COVID-19 pandemic.

The contagion has greatly impacted on people’s lives, he said, noting “there is no aspect of human life that is not affected by this terrible curse that lurks at every corner and every turn of every space where people meet or converge where people have been.”

The nation should brace for a long haul, he said, assuring the people that his government will take measures to alleviate or mitigate hardships hoping that a cure or vaccine will be available soon.

At the same time, he expects everyone’s patience, perseverance and resiliency. “I trust that every Filipino has this in his person and virtues abundant.”

Female cadets led both the PMA and PNPA graduates for 2020 — Cadet First Class Gemalyn Sugui and Cadet Lei Anne Palermo, respectively.

A total of 196 cadets comprised the PMA Masidlawin Class while the PNPA’s Mandayug Class has 252 cadets.

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