Duterte tells new military academy graduates: Security issues now more “complex”

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PMA.PH

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte on Sunday challenged the 2019 graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to “serve the country well” and “die” for it, noting that “complex and irrational state and non-state actors may pose danger” to the country. Amid the accusations by the administration that the Liberal Party (LP), along with other opposition groups, have been plotting to oust the President, Mr. Duterte and Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo, who chairs the LP, sat side by side during the commencement exercises of the PMA “Mabalasik” Class of 2019 in Baguio City on Sunday. In his speech, Mr. Duterte acknowledged Ms. Robredo’s presence, saying in jest: “Ma’am, bakit noon ma’am naga-smile ka sa akin, ngayon hindi na? Ikaw ha (Ma’am, why is it that in the past, you would smile at me, now you no longer do. Oh you).” On the new graduates of the PMA, he said: “Serve your country well. Die for your country if need be.” He noted that the country’s security “is not anymore just about arms and equipment… At this time, complex and irrational state and non-state actors may even pose danger to our country.” He continued, “Given this reality, I ask you to always remain faithful to your mission. Be a good soldier who will serve the Constitution, protect the people, secure our sovereignty, and preserve the integrity of our national territory.” — Arjay L. Balinbin