IN the order of Senator Antonio Trillianes IV's priority, many believe that family ranks just third of his, with God and Country, his first and second.
Yet, Manuel Espejo, a fellow mistah and president of PMA class 1966, which counts former General Angelo Reyes as member, family comes first. Espejo refers to the PMA as his "family" and all PMA alumni are part of family.
Between the two, who do you think is correct?
For four years, the PMA molds thru training, an ordinary Filipino to become an extraordinary soldier, someone who will sacrifice his life for the country. Thru the taxes paid for by ordinary Filipinos, those monies are intended to mold the perfect Cadet--someone who upholds the very tenets of Integrity, Honor and Loyalty very close to heart.
More than 4 million pesos are spent for each cadet, with the hopes that the graduate then "gives back" to the nation what the People had invested. How will a cadet give back? One, a cadet must serve the People with utmost sincerity, humility and honesty. A cadet is expected to give back what the People spent for his education, in fact, for the 4 years of his life spent in that hallowed institution.
The People expect a cadet to prioritize loving and worshipping God, protecting the Republic and keeping his family safe from harm. Now, family here means his own, not some artificial boy's club created because of some emotional attachment to his experience living in Baguio.
A true Filipino soldier is a professional soldier. He loves his God and Country more than himself. When called upon by circumstances, he leaves his family and fights for his country.
When enemies of the people threaten the very democracy that the people believe in, the soldier is expected to defend the people.
If, say, the enemy of the people is graft and corruption, then, the soldier is expected to fight graft and corruption, period. The soldier is not about to tolerate graft and corruption. He is expected to be beyond corruption.
A soldier is a soldier forever. Yes, he treasures his experiences over at the PMA's hallowed grounds, but he is not duty-bound to be part of the boy's club that tolerates evil practices.
What is happening right now at the very heart of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) is the breaking down of bad tradition---the practice of tolerance just because someone belongs to the PMA.
The PMA must find its soul once more. The PMA must always think that it is beholden to the ordinary Filipino, the one who paid for his education. The least that a PMA cadet, and more so, a PMA alumnus can do is be loyal to the People.
If the PMA wants to be a respected institution, it must earn his stripes, so to speak, by not tolerating the graft practices of previous generations. PMA alumnus thinks that he is above the people he serves because he bears the people’s arms. No. Let these PMA’ers be true servants of the people by acting as one.
In other countries, the military institution serves its primary role of maintainers of the status quo. IN our case, let the military institution be the catalyst for change by being exemplars of right and good conduct. It starts by ostracizing some of them who practices graft and corruption. Why ostracize those who only wanted to reform the institution they love?
I think that PMA alumnus should go back to being cadets. That will definitely solve most of the problems of the military institution.