BAGUIO CITY: The top graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinaglahi Class of 2015 believes that he and his mistahs should not rush to war at the cost of peace.
“Our interest in pursuing peace and freedom in our country does not necessarily entail that every problem has a military solution,” Cadet First Class Arwi Chiday Martinez said in his valedictory speech.
“History would remind us that the most costly mistakes of strategy came not from the restraint but from the willingness to rush into military actions without thinking about the immediate and long-term consequences of waging war,” he added.
Martinez said the role of the military is to seek long-lasting peace, bearing in mind the futile result of wars in the past.
“It will be our generation’s task and responsibility to heed, act, and respond to this aspiration for peace,” he added.
“The challenge that we face right now is how we will effectively put into reality the lessons that we have learned here in the academy, to become good leaders espousing the values of courage, integrity and loyalty in selfless service towards achieving a long lasting peace and prosperity for our country,” the topnotcher said.
Martinez led 172 members of the PMA Sinaglahi, which stands for Sundalong Isinilang na may Angking Galing at Lakas, Handang Ipaglaban and Bayan [Soldiers with Innate Skill and Strength, Ready to Fight for the Country].”
He received the Presidential Saber from President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
Martinez explained that the name of his class symbolizes their role in society.
“Let us commit ourselves to offer all our strength and wit to protect and uphold the sovereignty of our country,” he said.
Martinez called on Filipinos to trust the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“Patuloy naming ipaglalaban ang kapayapaan at kaunlaran ng ating bayan, maging kapalit man nito ang aming buhay [We will continue to fight for peace and progress even if this will cost us our lives],” he said.
A female cadet from Sarangani province was among the top PMA graduates.
Cadet First Class Caroline Jhoy Nacional placed fifth. There are only 16 female cadet graduates this year.
Nacional, 21, hails from the town of Maitum and is the daughter of a police investigator. She will join the Philippine Army.
As of 2014, 306 female cadets had graduated from the country’s premier military school. The academy began accepting women in 1993.