President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte graced the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) commencement exercises at Fort General Gregorio del Pilar in Baguio City on May 18, 2024.

In his speech, Marcos highlighted the importance of flexibility and readiness against foreign threats.

"Against intruders who have been disrespecting our territorial integrity, we will vigorously defend what is ours, but our conduct will always be guided by law and our responsibility as a rules-abiding member of the community of nations," Marcos said.

"Against evolving threats that harm our people and corrode social and political trust, we will be adept, we will be flexible, and we will be ready in repelling such things," he added.

To achieve this readiness, Marcos instructed the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to review the PMA curriculum.

He also condemned recent attempts at destabilization.

"This is a time of birth pains — sadly, of opportunism, blatant attempts of destabilization, and last-ditch efforts to cling to the rapidly disappearing past," he said.


This year's PMA Bagong Sinag Class of 2024 saw 278 cadets graduate, including 54 female cadets.

Leading the class is 24-year-old 2nd Lt. Jeneth Elumba from Surigao City, the seventh female valedictorian of the PMA since 1997. She received the Presidential Saber Award.

"My inspiration is my father, who aspired to become a man in uniform but due to circumstances he was not able to pursue, but he encouraged me,” Elumba said.

Her father, Valentino Elumba, expressed his pride, "Proud ako para sa kanya."

"Ang message ko sa kanya sana hindi siya magbago," Evelyn Elumba, her mother, said.

Of the new graduates, 143 will join the Philippine Army, 73 will join the Philippine Navy, and 62 will join the Philippine Air Force.