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PMA alumni in PNP, AFP junk calls to abolish alma mater

February 11, 2011 9:56am
While they admit some of their fellow alumni may have strayed from the straight path, Philippine Military Academy graduates who are at the National Police and Armed Forces junked on Thursday calls by some sectors to abolish their alma mater amid the alleged corruption scandal hounding the military.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. said abolishing the PMA is neither proper nor timely, even as he said that the "biggest majority" of the graduates who are in the AFP do their jobs well, and are taking sacrifices for the country.

"Some (PMA graduates) may have fallen to the ills of society because the AFP is only part of the whole society. Let’s not blame the PMA. By and large, the graduates have remained true to their oath to serve the country," Mabanta, a member of PMA Class 1981, said in an interview on dwIZ radio.

"It’s not proper, it’s not timely," he said of the calls to abolish the PMA.

For his part, PNP Metro Manila commander Director Nicanor Bartolome said it is not fair to abolish the PMA for the sins of some of its graduates.

"Just like any government institution, 'di naman siguro pwede basta buwagin ang napakalaking institution dahil may investigation na ginagawa sa ilang personalities at ilang graduates (Just like any government institution, you don’t abolish the entire institution just because some of its members are linked to controversies)," Bartolome, a member of PMA Class 1980, said in a separate interview on dwIZ.

The calls came amid the controversy surrounding the “pabaon" (sendoff) and “pasalubong" (welcome) gifts for AFP officials, as bared in recent congressional hearings. Also, the calls came at a time the PMA is preparing to celebrate its foundation day this month in Baguio City.

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro Casiño particularly called for a review of the core of the PMA, considered Asia’s premier military academy.

"There is something wrong with the values system, training as we see in the graduates that we have now," Casiño said.

He added the PMA spends more money for cadets than the country does for state scholars, "This is not a good investment," he said.

Also, Casiño said major reforms should be set in place in the PMA.

But Mabanta also pointed out it is up to the individual PMA graduate to use the lessons he or she gained for good or bad.

"As we go out of the portals of the Academy it is dependent on the individual how he will be able to use all the tools he learned at the Academy," he said.

"Nakita mo naman gaano karami rin ang gumagawa ng mabuti as expected sa graduates (at) inaalay ang buhay kung kinakailangan (You can see most PMA graduates do their jobs and even sacrifice their lives if needed)," Bartolome added. — LBG/RSJ, GMA News
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