“It takes one fly to spoil a feast. It takes one scandal to ruin an avowed moral and ethical standard.”
This was President Rodrigo Duterte’s message to cadets and alumni of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) during the membership meeting of PMA Alumni on Tuesday.
The president reminded “PMAers” that the image of the institution is only as good as the image that each cadet and alumni projects to the public.
“One scalawag among you can destroy or dent that image and reputation of every PMAer, your alma mater and your association included,” he said.
"Make use of your moral ascendancy, police your own ranks. You owe it to the academy that nourished you," Duterte added.
PMA cadet Darwin Dormitorio died in September last year due to the alleged hazing by his upperclassmen.
Just a week after Dormitorio’s death, several other cadets were hospitalized due to suspected maltreatment within the academy.
Brutal hazing rites imposed by elder cadets on freshmen were earlier caught on video.
In his speech, Duterte also noted that many PMA alumni have become politicians, lawmakers, and heads of government agencies.
However, he warned PMAers against the dangers of too much pride.
“That pride, if uncontrolled, can easily degenerate into arrogance and from there, the path of abuse opens. After that, only God knows,” he said.
“That is what you should guard against, that is what you should not allow to happen.” —LDF, GMA News