PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is set to lead the Philippine Military Academy graduation rites later this week.
Duterte will be the guest of honor and speaker for Sanggalang ay Lakas at Buhay Para sa Kalayaan ng Inang Bayan Class 2017 (SALAKNIB) on March 12.
Class 2017 is composed of 167 cadets with 104 males and 63 females.
Weeks ago, Duterte faced over 2,000 PMA alumni during the annual homecoming and was adopted as an honorary member of PMA Alumni Association Inc. (PMAAAI).
The president said he “feels at home” at PMA as they share the same mission to train and develop graduates with character and skills armed with the choice to live with courage and principle.
Duterte relayed he shares the same love for country and compassion for the poor and needy in congruent with the ideals of the academy which is a reflection of pride in being a Filipino.
Last year, the PMA saw the smallest batch of graduates since 1970 with the Gabay Laya (Gintong Anak ng Bayan, Alay sa Buhay Para sa Kalayaan) Class of 2016 finishing with only 63 cadets, 13 of which are turnbacks.
On Monday, the PMA is set to announce the top 10 of the graduating class.
The government spends over P2million for each cadet in the academy dubbed as the best in Asia.
Last year, 9,609 qualified applicants took the PMA Entrance Exam (PMAEE) in 38 different testing centers nationwide.
Out of those who took the entrance examination, 1,146 examinees composed of 743 males and 403 females passed and had been qualified to continue to the next phase of the selection process to become a cadet.
The PMAEE measures the mental ability of applicants in the areas of MATH (Algebra and Geometry), ENGLISH (Grammar, Composition, and Reading and Comprehension) and Abstract Reasoning (Verbal and Numerical Reasoning and Pattern Analysis).
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