FORTdel Pilar, Baguio City — A female cadet from Echague, Isabela is the topnotcher of the Philippine Military Academy MASIDLAWIN Class of 2020.
In a simple and private commencement exercise, Cadet First Class Gemalyn Sugui is graduating number 1 among the 196 graduates. She is also awarded with the Presidential Saber, the Achievement Award for Academic Excellence, the JUSMAG Award, the Philippine Army Saber, the Spanish Armed Forces Award, the Social Sciences Plaque, the Management Plaque, and the Rule of Law Award.
Graduating Nr 2 is Cadet First Class Jade Villanueva from Tacloban City. He is also awarded with the Vice Presidential Saber, the Association of Generals and Flag Officers Award, the Academic Group Award, the Australian Defense Best Over-all Performance Award, the General Antonio Luna Award, the Army Service Professional Courses Plaque, the Department of Leadership Plaque, and the Humanities Plaque.
Graduating Nr 3 is Cadet First Class Jefferson Salazar from Zamboanga City. He is also awarded with the Secretary of National Defense Saber, the Philippine Navy Saber, the Australian Defense Best Over-all Performance Award, and the Mathematics Plaque.
A Cordilleran female cadet is the Class’ Nr 4 graduate. Cadet First Class Rotes Gaile Jamandre hails from Lamut, Ifugao. Another Cordilleran, Cadet First Class Jeb Bay-an from La Trinidad, Benguet is graduating nr 5. He will also receive the Philippine Air Force Award and the Australian Defense Best Over-all Performance Award. Likewise, Cadet First Class Catabay Ladyong from Tabuk, Kalinga is graduating nr 6.
Cadet First Class Vanelyn Angel Tabao from Tuguegarao City and Cadet First Class June Giel Anne Factor from Piddig, Ilocos Norte are graduating nr 7 and 8, respectively.
Graduating Nr 9 is Cadet First Class Rubenson Abgao Maliwanag Baroy, Lanao del Norte. He is also awarded with the Air Force Service Professional Courses Plaque. Graduating Nr 10 is Cadet First Class Dencel Aina Bayaca of Floridablanca, Pampanga.
In addition, the Brigade Commander of the Cadet Corps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Cadet First Class Marion Dale Cordova of Nagcarlan, Laguna is awarded with the Chief of Staff Saber and the Achievement Award for Leadership .
In consultation with health authorities and Higher Headquarters, the PMA leadership decided to NOT OPEN the graduation rites of the MASIDLAWIN Class of 2020 to the general public due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, to include the parents, relatives, friends, and loved ones of the graduating cadets.
“I believe this is a necessary decision in order to safeguard the health and general well-being of the CCAFP and the whole PMA community. As a parent, I know how heartbreaking and disappointing that decision is, but we have to do what is best for all. Safety and health are paramount at all times,” said the Superintendent, Vice Admiral Allan Ferdinand Cusi AFP.
He cited that the risk involved and the exposure to the COVID-19 virus is still highly uncertain, complex and unpredictable during this trying times. This course of action will make the time extra special for our cadets and will surely add more meaning to the occasion.
“In line with this, I personally wrote, congratulated and informed each parent of the graduating class regarding this decision. We assured them, however, that the graduating Class of 2020 will be rendered a meaningful recognition of their graduation. I believe we owe it to the graduating class to exhaust all efforts in our decision-making and planning process to make this time special for them, albeit under the guidelines set by the government in addressing the COVID-19 crisis to ensure the safety, well-being and health of all our cadets and the whole PMA community,” Vice Admiral Cusi said.
The graduating class is 196 strong composed of 173 males and 23 females. There will be 100 (10 females) of them joining the Philippine Army, while 45 (6 females) and 51 (7 females) members are joining the Philippine Air Force and Philippine Navy, respectively. Despite the pandemic, the MASIDLAWIN Class will be reporting straight to their respective Major Services in the Army, Air Force and Navy as new additional officers who will lead the armed forces units in protecting the people and securing the state.
“With jubilant hearts, we welcome these new Second Lieutenants and Ensigns to the Officer Corps of the AFP. The entire PMA community wishes every member of the MASIDLAWIN Class all the best. The Academy has given them everything to prepare them for the real battles ahead. We believe that they are ready to assume and perform their duties and responsibilities as young, principled, competent, and compassionate officers of the AFP. The moment they step out of the portals of the Academy, we are confident that they will make us all proud,” Vice Admiral Cusi said. (ia/SovereignPH.com/PMA FB)