PMA parade off limits to adopted politicians
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – This year's Philippine Military Academy Alumni Homecoming parade is off limits to politicians adopted as honorary members of the country's premier military school alumni, a PMA official said Saturday, February 20.
In an interview, Lieutenant Coronel Reynaldo Balido Jr, spokesperson of the PMA, said the PMA Alumni Association (PMAAA) imposed the restriction to prevent politicking in the event.
But Balido said attending politicians, who are not graduates of the academy, will be given seats in the grandstand.
"Those who are not alumni or regular members of the alumni association are disallowed in the Borromeo (grandstand) field because it is a sacred field for the alumni," Balido said.
In last year's alumni rites, adopted members-politicians of the alumni classes were allowed to march in the parade.
Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano were allowed to march in 2015.
"[Ginagawa natin ito] dahil ayaw nating makaladkad at mabahiran ang pangalan ng PMA ng pulitika," Balido added. (We are doing this because we don't want the name of the PMA be tarnished with politics.)
He, however, said that candidates and politicians who are alumni as well will join the ceremonies regularly.
All current presidential candidates are honorary members of PMA classes: Manuel "Mar" Roxas II of the Liberal Party, Maharlika Class of 1984; Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalists Alliance, Maringal Class of 198; Grace Poe, Sambigkis Class of 199; Miriam Defensor Santiago of the People's Reform Party, Class of 1969; Rodrigo Duterte of PDP-Laban, Dimasupil Class of 1967.
None of the presidential candidates attended the ceremony.
Three of the vice presidential candidates are also honorary members: Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, PMA Alumni Association; Alan Peter Cayetano, Tanglaw Diwa Class of 1992; Francis "Chiz" Escudero, Hinirang Class of 1987.
This year's host is the Sinagtala Class of 1986, the first class to graduate after Martial Law. – Rappler.com