President lauds Pudang Kalis class topnotchers-A A +A
Monday, March 18, 2013
FORT DEL Pilar, Baguio City - President Benigno Aquino III addressed the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 2013 Sunday morning amidst a backdrop of political rivalry in the city.
Aquino’s presence in the city comes at the time of a standoff between the administration led Liberal Party (LP) senatorial bets and the Vice President Jejomar Binay led United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) coalition’s political sorties.
Both groups scheduled their respective rallies after the PMA graduations rites.
Aquino cited the struggles of class valedictorian Jestony Lanaja, whom he described to have lived a life of simplicity. Lanaja is the son of a sugarcane gatherer from Davao Del Sur.
“Hindi na nakatapak ng kolehiyo ang isa niyang kapatid na lalaki, at ang isa namang kapatid na babae ay hindi maipatingin ang kapansanan sa ospital. Ngunit sa pagtitipon ng tuba, nairaos ng kanyang ama si Jestony hanggang maging kadete siya dito sa PMA; at ngayon, hawak na niya ang Presidential Saber na sagisag ng dangal at responsibilidad na dala ng pagiging class valedictorian.”
Aquino likewise cited the hurdles of third placer Prolen Bonacua, who is battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and salutatorian Maryam Balais and Ragona Gonzales as he posed a challenge to the Pudang Kalis class.
“Nawa’y ang pananagutan at pakikiambag na ipinamalas ng mga tumulong sa inyo, ay manganak ng malalim ding pananagutan sa inyong mga puso’t isipan, upang kayo naman ang maglaan ng pagod at panahon para sa inyong kapwa. Kolektibong narating ng sambayanan ang tagumpay ninyong ito.”
Aquino ended his speech saying the real world awaits the young soldiers who will be deployed into the branches of the military after graduation.
Out of the 124 graduating cadets, 67 will join the Army, 24 to join the Air Force and 33 the Navy.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 19, 2013.