Too sleepy for PMA? Florin Hilbay: Duterte will find it difficult to command utmost respect from military

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay and President Rodrigo Duterte awarding Cadet First Class Dionne Mae Umalla, valedictorian of the Philippine Military Academy's Class of 2019 / photo from Philstar and Inquirer

President Rodrigo Duterte has gotten flak from his critics when he arrived late and sleepy during the Philippine Military Academy Mabalasik Class 2019 graduation in Baguio City last Sunday.

In a tweet, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said a commander-in-chief would have difficulty in commanding respect if he was too sleepy for such ceremonial event.

“A Commander in Chief who is "too sleepy" for one of the most important ceremonial events of the military will find it difficult to command its utmost respect.” Hilbay tweeted.

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.

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

The Commander-in-Chief again stood up to award the PMA 2019 class goat, Danmark Solomon with a caliber .45 gun.

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

Meanwhile, the Spokesman of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) said it was the prerogative of 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, Duterte asked the graduates to serve and die for the country.

“Serve your country well. Die for your country if need be. Remember the young Filipinos yet to come, the children… and if you think the country is not run the [right] way and if it will destroy your country, you should know what to do,” Duterte said.

“Yes, sir!” the graduates reply.

Source:  Politiko

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