Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the Commencement Exercises of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Masidlawin” Class of 2020 and the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) “Mandayug” Class of 2020

Event Commencement Exercsies of the Philippine Military Acadamey (PMA) “Masidlawin” Class of 2020 and the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) “Mandayug” Class of 2020
Location Malago Clubhouse, Malacañang Park, Manila

Kindly sit down. [May upuan sila? Okay.]

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana; Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año; Senator Bong Go; AFP Chief of Staff General Filemon Santos, sir; Philippine National Police Chief General Francisco Gamboa, sir; Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association Incorporated Chairman Edgar Aglipay, sir; Philippine National Police Academy Alumni Association Incorporated Chairman William Macavinta, sir; the Philippine Military Academy Masidlawin Class of 2020; the Philippine National Police Academy Mandayug Class of 2020.

The period we live in is not a vineyard of comfort. These are troubled times, dangerous [and] abnormal times caused by a fast-spreading and highly contagious virulent virus [or virus] the COVID-19- that cuts across the whole of humankind.

There is no aspect of human life that is not affected by [this] terrible curse that lurks at every corner and every turn of every space where people meet [or] converge where people have been.

[Its direness suffocates] every human activity- economic, financial or else-wise — has been affected. Sadly its end appears to be months and months away still.

In the meantime, we can [but] take measures to alleviate or mitigate the hardship wrought upon us and raise our hopes that sooner [than] later the cure [that] will set us free from COVID-19 shall be made available to all of us.

Patience, perseverance and resiliency are the crying needs of the moment. I trust that every Filipino has this in his person and virtues abundant.

That said, let me now extend my warmest congratulations and best wishes for all of you who are graduating this day. I give you my salute. Napakahusay ninyo. Hurdling the both police and being a soldier requires everything.

Let not COVID-19 dampen the joy and pride that must be yours after going through grueling years of study and rigorous training within the classroom walls and the perimeters of the parade grounds of your alma mater.

I can feel the pride that is in you resulting from what you have accomplished, but believe me when I say that prouder still are your parents and loved ones because [of] what you have become. Indeed, resplendent in your uniforms, in your paragons of manhood with all its connotations- officers and gentlemen.

All of you owe your parents so much. That is why I consider this special day as theirs as much as it is yours. This day belongs to you both.

I am really very happy for you tonight. I share your exhilaration. And I, me, I am confident that I will have soldiers, the finest from our military schools and police graduates, that you will be there to secure the Republic for all time.

All of you owe your parents so much and that is why I said you should be — I am sure you will find a way to be together even at a distance just to shorten the space. As it is mandated by law, we cannot do anything.

That is why, as you hand over your diplomas, medals or plaques to your parents as a sign of respect and filial piety, express to them in the manner you deem most appropriate, your lasting gratitude. They deserve the accolade. And I also applause for them.

Graduates, the world is changing and we have to adapt to the changes lest we lag behind. But like someone else said, “We can change in a changing world and yet cling to the unchanging values of life.”

Yes, indeed. Values like love of country, honesty, integrity, concern for the poor and the needy, adherence to the rule of law. These are values that make our society, humane, and a nation, progressive. A simple truth that is unassailable.

I suppose that all of you are imbued with these values. After all, that is what your alma mater prepared [you for]. Let it not be said by anyone later [that] in the conduct of your affairs and performance of your duty, you failed your alma mater, and wasted the efforts of your mentors. Heaven forbid. Sana huwag naman.

For indeed, that would be very sad. Keep that in mind always. The eyes of the Filipino, your fellow alumni and your alma mater are upon you wherever you may be. By your conduct, your alma mater shall be judged. So also shall be, your fellow alumni be similarly treated.

Finally, let me end [by posing] this question which I once heard. It goes thus: if those who are tasked with the maintenance of peace and order and the protection of public and private property do not do their mandate or worse, commit that which they are called upon to prevent or guard against. Again, I said the question be: what then?

Sino’ng tutulong ng bayan? Who will carry the liberty? Who will carry our independence? Who will carry the constitutional duty of due process, fair play? These are the things which you have to worry. For after all, your Magna Carta, and for all of us is the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. Remain true to that sacred document and remain as ever loyal to the Filipino flag.

Graduates, that is both a question and a challenge that beg for a response – your response. Think it over. You have all the time to do that. Thereafter, act accordingly.

Once again, my soldiers, my policemen, the soldiers of the Republic and the policemen of this government, mabuhay kayong lahat at sinasabi ko saludo ako sa inyo.

And… I will now… I will just read the…

The Office of the President of the Philippines, Malacañan. Pardon of Punishment.

In observance to the time honored tradition of the Philippine Military Academy and on the occasion of the graduation of the PMA Masidlawin Class 2020, I, Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines, Commander-in-Chief Armed Forces of the Philippines, hereby pardon all outstanding punishment of the upperclassmen the second and third — second, third and fourth class of the cadet corps Armed Forces of the Philippines as recommended by the National Defense, effectively. Granted this 22nd day of May in the year of Our Lord 2020.

Let me add a favor to the guys that are the — well, maybe you do more for the country. This is just a challenge. The following certificates from the Office of the President were awarded to the recipients in the program earlier this afternoon.

The Certificate of Ownership of House and Lot for the Class Valedictorian. [applause] A House and lot, 2 million from the Vista Land of Company of Manny Villar.

Now, let’s go to the pardon:

  • 2nd Lieutenant Gemalyn Deocares Sugui – Philippine Army;
  • Fire Inspector Lei Anne Banico Palermo – Bureau of [Fire Protection]

And… I am sorry these are the beneficiaries of the house and lot. So puro babae. [applause]

Iyong boyfriend na katabi mo, senyasan mo lang na hindi sila puwede pumasok ng bahay na lasing, nagloloko, nagbabae. This will be, sabihin mo, ‘Akin ito. At huwag kang palaboy-laboy diyan.’

Gun Certificate for the Class Goat. Rock Island Armory Cal. 45 pistol with 3 magazines. Goat, I salute you also.

Ang sunod:

  • 2nd Lieutenant Rexllwyn Johanne Olivo Eson – Philippine Army; and
  • Police Lieutenant Al Shadat Hassan Abdurajak – [Philippine National Police]

[Official: Bayaw ni Deliu. Kapatid ng asawa niya.] Ah, kapatid ito ng — aide ko? Talaga ha? I am happy. And wala naman kung ano pang ibibigay na bahay.

[Aide: For the Pardon of PNPA, sir.] Ito naman sa pardon ng PNPA. The same. I read an… I will just… Well, anyway.

Office of the President of the Philippines, Malacañan. Pardon of Punishment.

In observance to the time honored tradition of the Philippine National Police on the occasion of the graduation of the PNP — PNPA Mandayug Class 2020, I, Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines, hereby pardon all outstanding punishments of the cadet corps of the Philippine National Police Academy as recommended by the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, effectively today. Granted this 22nd day of May in the year of Our Lord [2020]. [applause]

Pakpak ako. Alam mo bakit? Dito ang pardon seems to be really just a pardon — an upperclass. Dito, all outstanding punishment, pulis. Ako, hindi talaga ako nagtataka, ang tao may kalokohan. Ang tao may… We are all entitled to our weird things in life.

But when you become or you have — you are now a policeman and a soldier, kindly, kindly hold the honor bestowed by the country upon you sacred in the hollow of your hands.

Magandang… Salamat po sa inyong lahat. Congratulations. [applause]

[Aide: Pirma ka lang, sir.] And I sign.

Okay. Lahat ng kasalanan? Marami ‘yan.

Thank you. [applause]


— END —