• Top cadet: Let’s not fail PMA, countrymen

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    BAGUIO CITY: The female valedictorian of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Salaknib” Class of 2017 urged her batch mates to live up to the PMA’s ideals and serve the country with unwavering commitment.

    Cadet 1st Class Rovi Martinez made the call in her valedictory address during the PMA graduation rites held Sunday.

    “Salaknib” means “Sanggalang at Lakas at Buhay na Alay Para sa Kalayaan ng Inang Bayan.”

    “Mistah, congratulations. The accomplishment of one is the accomplishment of all. This is not goodbye, but a new beginning. May we bring with us the skills, values and character that the academy has instilled in us,” said the Nueva Ecija native, who received the Presidential Saber and Philippine Navy Saber awards.

    167 graduates of the PMA ‘Salaknib’ Class of 2017 rejoice after four years of rigid military training. PHOTO BY THOM PICAÑA

    “Let us not fail our alma mater. Let us make her proud by doing our job, and doing it well,” she added.

    Martinez expressed her gratitude to the Filipino people, who, she said, deserve no less than exemplary public service.

    “To the Filipino people, we pledge to serve you with all integrity. Utang namin ang lahat ng ito sa inyo [We owe everything to you]. We will strive to be the best, and make sure that we are worthy of your respect and trust,” she said.

    PMA cadets are government scholars whose tuition, board, health expenses and allowances during their tenure in the academy are state-funded.

    Martinez led the eight women who made it to the top 10 of the graduating class.

    “I’m just an ordinary cadet who commits mistakes. Nobody’s perfect. But imperfections shouldn’t stop you [from aiming]for excellence. As young leaders of the Armed Forces, we will serve our country with vigor, hard work and unwavering commitment. We are now ready to serve you,” Martinez said.

    The seven other female PMA graduates in the top 10 were Eda Marapa (3rd), Cathleen Baybayan (4th), Shiela Jallorina (6th), Shiela de Guzman (7th), Joyzy Funchica (8th), Resie Hucalla (9th) and Catherine Gonzales (10th). The two males in the top 10 were Philip Vizcaya (2nd) and Carlo Canlas (5th).

    The PMA Salaknib Class of 2017 has 167 members, 104 of them male and 63 female. It was the largest population of female graduates since the academy admitted female cadets in 1997.

    The regions with the most number of PMA graduates were the National Capital Region and Region 4-A (Calabarzon) with 21 each, followed by Region 3 (Central Luzon) with 20 and the Cordillera Administrative Region with 13.

    Ninety of the 167 PMA graduates will serve in the Philippine Army, while 33 of will serve in the Philippine Air Force. The remaining 44 will serve in the Philippine Navy.

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