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PMA's Honorary Membership; Good or Bad? Who's to blame?
Topic Started: Mar 3 2010, 04:44 PM (2,307 Views)
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Some famous PMA adoptees are illegitimate

By Kristine Servando, Newsbreak
 | 03/02/2010 1:44 AM

(First of 3 parts)

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—Re-electionist Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. proudly joined the parade wearing a silver military medal at the annual alumni homecoming of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) two weekends ago.

He was a supposed to be a silver jubilarian, just like his “mistahs” from Class 1985.

Unknown to many—even probably to him—Revilla is not an officially recognized “honorary member” of the PMA Alumni Association Inc. (PMAAA). And there are many political bigwigs in the same fix.

Newsbreak research found that at least 25 other politicians or politically influential persons have no claim to be called honorary members of the PMA.

Other adoptees who are not officially recognized are First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, presidential daughter Luli Arroyo, presidential brother Diosdado “Buboy” Macapagal Jr., vice presidential candidate Loren Legarda, business tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., and senators Francis Pangilinan and Jinggoy Estrada.

They are not in the PMA Alumni Register, copies of which were shown to Newsbreak. The Register is annually published to update the list of full-fledged honorary members.

[click to see complete list]

In a practice that’s unique to the Philippines, PMA classes commonly adopt so-called heavyweights as honorary members. The relationship is mutually beneficial—the PMA class gets prestige and, sometimes, political favors; the politicians establishes with influential military men a connection that they (politicians) seem to believe is similar to a fraternity.

‘Guest members’
The practice is highly unregulated, admitted incoming PMAAA chairman, Sen. Rodolfo Biazon of PMA Class 1961.

“There is no prohibition. But for one to be a full honorary member of the whole organization, it must be approved by the board,” Biazon told Newsbreak.

“You can be a member of the class, but that does not mean the adoptee has already become a member [of the alumni association],” he added.

Incoming PMAAA President Col. Edgardo Rene Samonte of PMA Class 1981 calls them “guest members.” They have taken their oaths as honorary members of a PMA class, but the PMAAA board of directors and officers has yet to recognize them.

Biazon said the application of these guest members are probably pending board approval or their PMA classes failed to submit their nominations for board approval. PMAAA refused to discuss the individual status of nominations.

Based on PMAAA bylaws, any Filipino or foreign citizen can be an honorary member as long as he or she has an “exemplary and distinguished” track record of service in his or her field.

But it’s a tedious process. Candidates need to:

* submit a curriculum vitae for evaluation;
* be nominated by at least 10 commissioned officers; and
* get a unanimous vote of approval by the PMAAA board, which is composed of 18 officers.



Approval of nominations doesn’t come easy. According The Register, the board has approved nominations of only 3 honorary members in the past 5 years. They are Chief Justice Reynato Puno, businessman Delfin Wenceslao Jr., and Ninoy Aquino International Airport general manager Alfonso Cusi.

As of 2009, there are 86 total honorary members, officially recognized by the PMAAA. Out of this number, 40 are government officials.

Curiously, military personnel are also adopted as honorary members of different batches. There are at least 39 of them in the official list. The remaining 7 in the list are businessmen and priests.

Other official honorary members include President Gloria Arroyo (Class 1978), presidential candidate Manuel Villar Jr. (Class 1977), and Gilbert Teodoro (Class 1976), vice presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II (Class 1984), and senatorial candidates Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago (Class 1969), and Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Marcos II (Class 1979).

Call for regulations
Biazon said he will make sure the incoming officers of the PMAAA will discuss the issue of the proliferation of unofficial honorary members.

“I am not for or against it, but it will be put on the agenda,” Biazon said.

Biazon said he will recommend a review of the PMAAA’s policies on honorary memberships to shield the military from political influences, especially during the 2010 elections. Biazon will assume the post in March.

The problem is that there are no explicit provisions in the PMAAA bylaws which sanction PMA classes that adopt without the board's approval.

Samonte agreed with Biazon. He said it’s about time that the original intent of the PMA in adopting honorary members should be followed. He said honorary members should not be attached to a particular PMA class. Instead, they should be attached to the PMA organization as a whole.

Section 5, Article 2 of the PMAAA Amended Bylaws reads: “Honorary membership does not need the endorsement of a PMA class; neither shall honorary members be adopted by a class.”

“A nominee should not have any class affiliation. That's the policy, but it's violated,” Samonte said.

Samonte said these honorary members should not be “trooping the line” or marching with PMA alumni during the annual homecoming. “They can go with the board, but they shouldn’t go with the class.”

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/special-report/...re-illegitimate
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Record number of PMA adoptees running in polls

By Kristine Servando, Newsbreak | 03/04/2010 11:20 AM

Will mistahs be actively campaigning and violate the Constitution?

Second of 3 parts

MANILA, Philippines—Nineteen adoptees of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) classes—including presidential aspirants Gilberto Teodoro Jr. and Manuel Villar Jr.—are running this year, representing the highest number of honorary “mistahs” seeking posts in 5 regular elections in more than a decade.

With adopted PMAers in the polls, apprehensions are once more rising that some elements in the military might get involved, overtly or covertly, in campaigns and thus violate the constitutional ban on partisan activities.

The military, run and peopled mostly by PMA graduates, is still trying to rebuild its credibility after several generals were implicated in special operations that allegedly rigged the vote to make President Arroyo win in 2004.

Although the generals were later cleared of the charges by a government fact-finding body, the scandal gave an idea of the lengths that some in the military would be willing to go once they take sides.

Soldiers are being deputized by the Commission on Elections this year to guard the ballots and the vicinity of polling precincts in some violence-prone areas.

“It’s the first time that we will have automated elections. There are several apprehensions about the role of the military,” said Armed Forces spokesperson Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner of Class 1989. “So it's very crucial to maintain the military's apolitical nature.”

Longest list

See “List of Honorary PMA Alumni Running in 2010.”

There are 19 official and unofficial honorary members of PMA classes who are seeking national and local elective posts in 2010.

The list could have been even longer were it not for events this week. Re-electionist Tarlac congressman Jose Yap succumbed to cancer on Tuesday, while Manila International Airport Authority chair Alfonso Cusi withdrew from the congressional race in Oriental Mindoro.

See “Lists of Honorary PMA Alumni Who Ran in Previous Elections, 1998-2007.

This year’s list is the longest since 1998, a presidential election, when 14 ran. Eleven ran in 2001; 14 again in 2004; and 10 in 2007.

Of this year’s candidates, 2 are running for president and 2 for vice president. This makes the 2010 the first election where more than 1 PMA adoptee is seeking the highest elective post, and where honorary PMAers are seeking the vice presidency.

Teodoro of the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD is an adopted member of Class 1976, while Villar of the Nacionalista Party is an adopted of Class 1977. In the last 2 presidential elections, only 1 PMA adoptee sought the presidency each time—President Arroyo (adopted by Class 1978) in 2004, and Miriam Defensor-Santiago (adopted by Class 1969) in 1998.

No honorary PMAer had run for vice president in the past. This year, there will be 2 candidates—Manuel Roxas II of the Liberal Party (adopted by Class 1984) and Loren Legarda of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (adopted by Class 1969, but not officially recognized by the alumni association.)

The 2010 elections will also see the biggest number of honorary PMAers seeking Senate seats—there are 6 of them—compared to only 2 in 2007; 5 in 2004; 4 in 2001; and 2 in 1998.

Not homogenous

Dr. Clarita Carlos of the University of the Philippines political science department doesn’t discount the possibility that politicians would use their networks in the military, if any, in the elections.

“If you don’t have many scruples, you’ll do everything to get voted, including tapping into military contacts,” she said.

It is difficult to generalize, however, if individual soldiers or an entire PMA classes would be willing to get involved in these politicians’ campaign, she said.

“If PMA classes or individual members allow themselves to be used by politicians—maybe to get money or others—then they could. But it depends. The military is not a homogenous organization,” she told Newsbreak.

For instance, Teodoro’s adoptive PMA Class 1976 declared its support for his candidacy, but class president Leopoldo Bataoil said only retired members of the batch would campaign for him.

Those in the active service are prohibited by the Constitution to get involved in campaigns. Article III, Section 5, states: “The armed forces shall be insulated from partisan politics. No member of the military shall engage directly or indirectly in any partisan political activity, except to vote.”

The 1976 batch includes Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Victor Ibrado, Philippine National Police Director Jesus Verzosa, and Philippine Navy Chief Ferdinand Golez.

‘Useful connections’

Senator Francis Pangilinan said that when he ran for re-election in 2007, his “mistahs” the “Sandiwa” Class of 1985 helped him. “But only those members of the class no longer connected with the government actively helped me in the campaign.”

The senator by then had been an unofficial honorary member of batch 1985 for over 5 years. He won in 2007, garnering 14.5 million votes and placing 5th in the senatorial polls.

The adoptive classmates extend help beyond the campaign period, Pangilinan said. They have, for instance, provided him valuable policy inputs after he got elected. His classmates, he said, help in “gathering inteligence on security related matters affecting the nation.”

Pangilinan is also an adopted member of the Philippine National Police Academy Class 1989.

Nacionalista Party senatorial candidate Ferdinand Marcos II, an official adoptee of “Matapat” Class of 1979, said PMA classes provide “useful connections.”

“It’s like an instant network within the military. If you work with your adopted classmates, you have a pool of talent instantly available to you,” Marcos told Newsbreak in a text message.

Class 1979’s members include Philippine Naval Forces Western Mindanao commander Alexander Pama and former AFP spokesperson Tristan Kison.

Another member of the class is Col. Ariel Querubin, who is detained on mutiny charges for allegedly attempting to overthrow President Gloria Arroyo in 2006. He is also running for senator under the Nacionalista Party.

Question of motive

Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, a member of Class 1961 and incoming alumni head, said that the years represented by the PMA batches adopting politicians “raises questions” about their motive.

He said that politicians are usually adopted by classes whose members are still in the active service and are already in senior positions—ripe for promotions or higher appointments.

“If you look at those who adopt, they are already in the upper bracket of seniority who are already on deck for higher positions. This raises questions,” Biazon told Newsbreak.

The least these adoptive PMAers can do, he said, is to avoid violating the constitutional ban on engaging in partisan politics.

“This is crucial especially during the [2010] elections because we must maintain the apolitical nature of soldiers,” he said.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/special-report/...s-running-polls
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Quote:
 
Power play drives PMA ‘adoption’ of politicians, says ex-academy chief

By Vincent Cabreza, Desiree Caluza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:45:00 02/19/2010

Filed Under: Military, Politics, Elections, Eleksyon 2010

FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City, Philippines -- The Philippine Military Academy has exerted efforts to keep politics out of its annual alumni homecoming, which ended Friday, with a parade of PMA class colors.

But what's more political than a class parade that includes aspiring presidents and senators?

Almost every alumni class has adopted its own celebrity politician since Martial Law, a practice that has been debated, attacked and defended by leaders of the PMA Alumni Association Inc (PMAAA), said former academy superintendent, Brig. Gen. Leopoldo Maligalig.

"This is largely unspoken but [adopting alumni who are politically influential] is really about power," said Maligalig, who was president of PMA "Magilas" Class of 1976.

He said the practice began during Martial Law when some military officers realized they needed the political backing to steer their careers in government service.

After the 1986 Edsa Revolution, some classes began inviting movie stars, too, he said.

The first adopted PMA alumni members were PMA cadets who graduated from the US Military Academy in West Point, New York.

"They were truly mistahs (classmates) and were gladly welcomed back into the fold," Maligalig said.

He said he decided to stay away from this year's homecoming because he did not want to witness a "political circus."

PMA officials on Friday admitted they remained in the dark as to which presidential candidate would join the homecoming parade at the Borromeo Field here.

Administration standard-bearer, Gilbert Teodoro Jr., is an adopted member of PMA "Magilas" Class of 1976 while Nacionalista Party standard bearer, Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., was adopted by PMA "Masikap" Class of 1977.

Liberal Party standard bearer, Benigno Aquino III, is not expected to join Saturday morning's parade with members of PMA "Mapitagan" Class of 1980.

A class member said they invited Aquino to join them but the senator had declined.

Instead, the class adopted Aquino's sisters, Ma. Elena "Ballsy" Cruz and Aurora Corazon "Pinky" Abellada, who has agreed to join the parade.

Two other Aquino's sisters, celebrity host Kristina Bernadette "Kris" Aquino-Yap and Victoria Eliza "Viel" Dee, would be adopted this month, Abellada said.


Abellada arrived here on Friday to campaign for her brother.

When asked if her being an adopted member of a PMA class meant more votes for Aquino, Abellada said: "I wish they would pero bawal (but it is prohibited to campaign at PMA). Maybe those who are outside the service could [offer their public support]."

She said "Mapitagan" Class approached the family because of its close ties to the late President Corazon Aquino. The class members volunteered as pall bearers during Aquino's burial in 2009.

Abellada said their family's relationship with the military was different during the Marcos administration, which imprisoned their father, the late Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. for seven years.

But members of "Mapitagan" class who were in the service remained loyal to the Aquino presidency, even during the years it fended off coup plots, she said.

"When my mother stepped down from the presidency in 1992, some members of Class 1980 remained close to us," she said.

President Macapagal-Arroyo was adopted by PMA "Makatarungan" Class of 1978 while her husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo, was adopted by PMA "Marangal" Class of 1974.

NP vice presidential candidate, Sen. Loren Legarda, was adopted by PMA Class of 1969 while LP vice presidential candidate, Sen. Manuel Roxas II, was adopted by PMA "Maharlika" Class of 1984.

Maligalig said many PMA alumni classes have developed deep connections to their adopted members, but in some cases, the adoption reflected how much career officers could benefit from the new alliances.


He said there was much discussion when PMA Class of 1951, one of the oldest alumni classes, adopted businessman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., who was associated with the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

"There is a difference between adopted members of a PMA class and adopted members of the PMAAA. The alumni body is very strict. They interview everyone who is sponsored by the classes, so Mark Jimenez who was adopted by [PMA Class of 1990] is not an adopted member of the alumni association," Maligalig said.

During the term of President Fidel Ramos, the alumni classes tried to temper the practice by absorbing business giants instead of prominent government officials.

"Ramos was [a] West Point [graduate] and was adopted, so the alumni members felt that the tradition should be more [circumspect] during his term," Maligalig said.
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PMA Class of '76 disowns Cedric Lee
ABS-CBNnews.com
Posted at 02/07/2014 12:14 PM | Updated as of 02/07/2014 1:36 PM

MANILA – The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1976 is denying any links to businessman Cedric Lee, who is accused of mauling actor-host Vhong Navarro last January 22.

"Cedric Lee is not in any way connected with the class, neither honorary or whatever… being dragged into such a controversy as this is not a welcomed matter," said former Deputy Director General Eduardo Acuña, PMA Class '76 president.

Records from the Securities and Exchange Commision revealed that Lee had enter into several business ventures with members of the PMA class.

Former Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy director general for administration and now Tuguegarao City Mayor Jefferson Soriano is a board member and incorporator of Colossal Mining.

Meanwhile, former PNP director for logistics Gen. Luizo Ticman and former PNP director for records management Gen. Abner Cabalquinto were listed as incorporators and board members of Verticabares Agro-Industrial.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/metro-manila/02/07/14/pma-class-76-disowns-cedric-lee
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poser!!! :brrt:
Ipaglaban ang ating territoryo sa mapag-api at sakim na dayuhan!!!


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