Philippine Military Academy eyes expansion

THE Philippine Military Academy is asking the Office of the President to grant them additional land area.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu, in a memo addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte, requested an additional area of 105.8 hectares over a parcel of land situated in Tuba, Benguet, that will serve as a multi-purpose training ground and other military facilities of PMA.

Cimatu, in his letter to Duterte, said granting PMA the additional land will assure the academy of a secure water source and help protect the area from intrusions, encroachments, and other forms of adverse claims.

The area being sought by the academy is a forested hill covering 373 hectares at Barangay Loakan outside a property being disputed by PMA and indigenous peoples operating small-scale mines.

Last week, Cimatu led the blasting of five small scale mining areas within the boundary of the PMA raided by members of the National Task Force Mining Challenge composed of the DENR-Cordillera, Philippine Army, and the Regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

Cimatu said the blasting of the five areas within the boundary of the academy was legal since it is a timberland site.

Former Senator and Armed Forces Chief Rodolfo Biazon said cadets of the academy have to abide by the tenets of the country’s constitution.

During the alumni homecoming at Fort Del Pilar, the former lawmaker reiterated the importance of protecting the constitution.

"When I came in as Superintendent in 1987, one of my basic advise to the cadets was not to jeopardize their service to the country by committing foolish things like failing in the training for example. I still give the same advice to everyone," said Biazon.

Blazon was awarded the lifetime achievement award for 50 years of distinguished, outstanding and exemplary service explained why the military and police must at all times be loyal to the constitution.

"When the question of loyalty not to any person, entity, but to the principle of the inviolability of the fundamental law of the land or the constitution, there are three oaths of office that anyone who works for government takes," Biazon said.

The former legislator also pointed out the difference between the Chief Executive as compared to that of an ordinary worker in government.

"The President's oath of office is to preserve the constitution and defend it, while a soldier on the other hand upholds the constitution and defends it. Any average government worker says I support the constitution and I will defend it," said the former solon.

Biazon raised the issue on the duty of the President to preserve the constitution even as constitutions are considered a living entity due to it being changed as years go by as defined by the constitution.
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