BAGUIO CITY – Some forty natives of the Cordillera will form part of the 263-member Mandirigma ng Bayan Handang Iaalay ang Sarili, Lakas at Tapang para sa Kapayapaan (MABALASIK) Class of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) who will be graduating from the premier military school in Asia on Sunday.
PMA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Ronnie S. Evangelista disclosed that the 40 cadets from the Cordillera is the largest among the regions that compose the graduating class.
Of the total number of Cordillerans in the graduating class, Evangelista said that 30 are males and 10 are females wherein 4 of them were able to land in the top ten honor list.
Among those who were able to make it to the PMA’s honor roll include Cadet first-class Jahziel Gumapac Tandoc, 21, of La Trinidad, Benguet who will be finishing third overall and will be receiving the Secretary of National Defense Saber, Philippine Army Saber, Army Professional Courses Plaque and Australian Defense Best Overall Performance, Cadet first-class Daniel Heinz Bugnosen Lucas, 25, of Barlig, Mountain Province who will be graduating as fourth overall and will be receiving the Air Force Professional Courses Plaque, Cadet first-class Richard Balabag Lonogan, 22, of Sagada, Mountain Province who will be finishing sixth and Cadet first-class Glyn Elinor Buansi Marapao, 22, of Lengawan, Buguias, Benguet who will be finishing eight overall and will be receiving the Nay Professional Courses Plaque.
The graduating class is composed of 190 males and 73 females wherein 134 cadets, 99 males and 35 females, will be joining the Philippine Army; 66 cadets, 47 males, 19 females, will be assigned to the Philippine Navy and 63 cadets, 44 females and 19 females, will be going to the Philippine Air Force.
Based on the data obtained from PMA, placing second to the Cordillera in the most number of graduating cadets is Region IV-A with 29 closely followed by the National Capital Region (NCR) with 28, Region III – 24, Region II – 22, Region I – 19, Region V – 14, Region XII – 15, Regions Vi, VII and IX – 11 each, Regions X and XI – 10, Region VIII – 9, ARMM, CARAGA, Regions IV-B and XIII – 2 each and Regions Iv and MIMAROPA – 1 each.
PMA authorities said that the present bath of graduates is one of the classes with the biggest number of female cadets who will be completing the prescribed military course and will be commissioned as either 2nd Lieutenants and Ensigns of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) by no less then President Rodrigo Duterte during their graduation rites.
Another pride of the cordillera who will be receiving a special award is cadet first class Kimberly Joy Saliw-an Baculi of Lower Taloctoc, Tanudan, Kalinga who will be receiving the Athletic Saber Award female category from Mayor Mauricio g. Domogan.
The national government spends at least P2 million to defray the expenses of a single cadet upon his or her entry up to their graduation from the Academy and their eventual commissioning with the AFP.
After the graduation of the first class cadets, PMA will be welcoming some 400 fourth class cadets that will be composed of 320 males and 80 females who will be comprising the PMA Class of 2023.