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Honorary alumni discouraged from marching with adoptive classmates in PMA homecoming

The Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association Inc. has discouraged honorary members, some of whom are candidates in the May 2019 elections, from marching with their adoptive classmates during the PMA homecoming in Baguio City on Saturday.

PMAAAI chairman and former Army commanding general Jaime Delos Santos said PMA grduates and honorary members were welcome to attend the alumni festivities but should not use the event for political purposes.

"If you are an honorary member, you can attend but you are discouraged from marching during the pass and review. There is a special seat for you at the grandstand," Delos Santos said.

As for PMA alumni who are running for office, Delos Santos said, "Its your right to join your classmates during the parade but you are not allowed to undertake any political activity that will destroy the sanctity and importance of the ceremony."

"Those running, they can attend but they should avoid using the homecoming to promote their candidacy. That ceremony is not for political purpose," Delos Santos said.

"It's something that should be respected and should not be given any political color," he added.

The campaign period for senator and party list representatives started on Tuesday.

Among the PMA graduates running for senator are former PNP chief Ronald Dela Rosa (PMA class 1986) and Magdalo party list Representative Gary Alejano (PMA class 1995).

Some of the senatorial candidates are honorary members adopted by some PMA classes. They include former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas (1984), Senator Grace Poe (1991), Senator Jinggoy Estrada (1972), Senator Bong Revilla (1985),  and former presidential aide Christopher "Bong" Go (1992).

A number of PMA members are honorary members are also seeking elective posts in the coming elections, including presidential daughter Sara Duterte (honorary member of PMA class 1984 PMA class) who is seeking ree-election as Davao City mayor.

The guest of honor and speaker during this year's annual homecoming is former AFP chief now Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, of the PMA class 1970. Cimatu also once served as special envoy to the Middle East. —NB, GMA News