BAGUIO CITY: A total of 167 members of the Philippine Military Academy’s (PMA) “Sanggalang ay Lakas at Buhay na Alay sa Kalayaan ng Inang Bayan” (Salaknib) Class of 2017 are set to join the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as junior officers after their graduation rites on Sunday.
Of the 167 – 104 male and 63 female cadets – 90 will join the Philippine Army, including 32 female cadets.
Forty-four will join the Philippine Navy, 18 of whom are female cadets. The remaining 33 cadets will join the Philippine Air Force.
This year’s class valedictorian is Cadet 1st Class (C1C) Rovi Mairel Valino Martinez of Cabanatuan City. Eight of the class’ top 10 are female cadets, including one from Baguio City’s Kankanaey ethnic group, C1C Eda Glis Buansi Marapao, who, along with Martinez, will join the Navy.
Marapao is also the youngest member of the class, which, according to academy records, has the most number of females since the PMA began accepting female cadets in 1997.
The oldest graduate, Rinze Marrion de Monteverde Eviota, entered the academy as a member of the Class of 2015.
Six others from the Class of 2015 and 23 from the Class of 2016 will be part of the PMA Salaknib Class of 2017.
Twenty-one graduates are from the National Capital Region, 21 from Southern Luzon, 20 from Central Luzon, 13 from the Cordillera region, 15 from the Ilocos region and one from Eastern Visayas.
Today’s graduation rites will be held at Borromeo Field, Fort Del Pilar. President Rodrigo Duterte will address the graduates. Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will also attend the ceremonies.