Too sleepy! Duterte skips handing out diplomas to PMA graduates, Lorenzana took over

Defense Secretary took over the distribution of diplomas to members of the PMA Mabalasik Class 2019

It was said that President Rodrigo Duterte has broken the tradition when he skipped giving of diplomas to all the members of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Mabalasik Class of 2019.

The President delegated the distribution of most diplomas to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, after giving Cadet First Class Dionne Mea Umalla, the class valedictorian, her diploma, the presidential saber, and the certificate of ownership to a house and lot.

Vice President Leni Robredo, meanwhile, handed the award to salutatorian Jonathan Mendoza. 

For the rest of the class, being the second highest official for defense, Lorenzana took over the distribution of diplomas.

The President again stood up to award the PMA 2019 class goat, Danmark Solomon with a caliber .45 gun. He also gave his watch to Cadet Albert Jalaguit.

Lorenzana reportedly told CNN Philippines that Duterte watched from his seat because he was sleepy.

“Inaantok daw siya,” he said in a text message.

The Spokesman of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) said it was the prerogative of President Rodrigo Duterte if he decided to only give the diploma of the class valedictorian.

“We leave it to the president po, kasi prerogative naman po (niya) iyan (it’s his prerogative),” said PMA Spokesman Major Reynan Afan.

“Ang term po namin diyan [Our term for that] is he can have a delegated authority,” he added.

In his speech, the President reminded the soldiers about embodying humility, courage, and loyalty as they directed them to protect the people and the country’s sovereignty and territory.

“Serve your country well. Die for your country if it needs be,” the commander-in-chief said addressing the graduates of Mabalasik Class 2019.

“Remember the young Filipinos yet to come, the children and those who are now studying. Huwag mong kalimutan ninyo ‘yan. And if you think that the country is not run the way it is and if it will destroy your country, you should know what to do. Do you understand me?” he said

“Yes, sir!” the graduates reply.


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