FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City – Vestiges of old politics still showed even as, although invited, big time politicians did not show up in Saturday’s Philippine Military Academy alumni homecoming.
Scion of a political family, Luli Arroyo, daughter of detained President Gloria Arroyo, made an appearance with members of PMA class of 1991, this year’s Silver Jubilarians.
Resplendent in dark gray suit uniform of Class 1991, Luli was all smiles as she joined joined her “mistahs” when they received
medallions from the PMA Alumni Association. Luli’s Class ’91 donated P500,000 for the PMA endowment fund and professorial chair fund.
“She was an exemption because, she, too, is a silver jubilarian,” Lt. Col. Reynaldo Balido, Jr., PMA spokesman, said, referring to Luli.
Then there were the PMA alumni-politicians, former Senator Panfilo Lacson, an independent candidate for senator; and Senator Gregorio Honasan, who is running for vice-president under the United Nationalists Alliance, who marched side by side with their “mistahs” of Class 1971.
The other big time politicians who are adopted members of the PMA alumni did not come even if they were allotted seats at the
grandstand. They were Senator Grace Poe, PMA Class ’94; Mar Roxas, PMA Class ’84; Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Class ’67; and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, Class ’69.
Balido Jr., member of PMA class 1999, hailed the PMA’s success in weeding out partisan politics from this year’s alumni homecoming. He said that it has been a long standing policy in the PMA not to allow overt political campaigning during alumni homecoming events.
In the past, honorary member-politicians joined the parade at the Borromeo Field, considered as the military academy’s “hallowed grounds,” where only PMA cadets and alumni can march.
Cavalier Rudy Vasquez, a member of PMA Class 1971, said that it was a good thing that no “epal” (politician) came.He, however, approved of Luli’s joining the Silver Jubilarian Class of 1991. THOM F. PICANA/northboundasia.com