MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday told the new graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) to "adapt" to changes happening around the world or risk lagging behind other countries, as nations struggle with the coronavirus disease pandemic.
"Like someone once said, we can change with the changing world yet cling to the unchanging values of life," Duterte said Friday in his speech at the graduation ceremonies of the PMA and the PNPA via teleconferencing.
"I suppose that all of you are imbued with these values. After all, that is what your alma mater prepared for you."
Duterte led the graduation ceremonies using the videoconferencing app Zoom in Malacañang, in a first as the world adjusts to the "new normal" due to the fast spreading coronavirus, which has infected nearly 5 million people and killed over 300,000 around the globe since its first emergence in China late last year.
The President urged PMA and PNPA graduates to be "remain true" to their duties once they are assigned to their posts in the military and the police. He warned them against committing illegal acts.
"Let me end this question which I once heard. It goes thus: If those who are tasked with the maintenance with peace and order, and the protection of public and private property do no do their mandate, or worse, commit that is which they are called upon to prevent or guard against. Again I said, the question being, what then? Sino ang tutulong sa bayan? Who will carry the liberty? Who will carry our independence? Who will carry the constitutional duty of due process?" he said.
"Remain true to that sacred document and remain as ever loyal to the Filipino flag."
He later pardoned all “outstanding punishments” of all underclassmen, a tradition when a batch graduates.
Female cadets topped the graduating classes of both the PMA and PNPA this year.