Gays entering the Philippine Military Academy (PMA): Why not?
On Tuesday, the PMA leadership announced it has opened recruitment to gays, thus, giving them the chance not only to serve but even become future officers in the military.
Major General Nonato Alfredo Peralta, PMA Superintendent, said that for the coming PMA entrance examination set on August 26, gays will be welcome to apply provided they meet the requirements.
Aside from accepting gays, the PMA will soon reopen its doors to foreigners who may want to become cadets in the premier leadership training school in the country, said Peralta.
At a press conference in Camp Aguinaldo, he emphasized that members of the third sex are not prohibited from joining the academy.
“Hindi po tayo tumatanggi doon. Ganun pa rin yung kulturang Pilipino, hindi (sila) tuwirang accepted... nasa transition ang Philippine society so ganun din po ang PMA, hindi natin sasabihin na bawal, hindi ganun, hindi pinagbabawal yan, hindi po pinagbabawal,” he said.
Capt. Agnes Flores, the PMA spokesperson, said gays will not be discriminated upon once they are admitted into the academy, but are expected and required “to behave the way the cadets are to behave.”
“So, hanggang sa makayanan nila ang training sa Philippine Military Academy and they themselves are the ones who will say na hindi nila kaya and they go out of the academy dun po tayo,” said Flores.
She added that while in the academy, they (gays) must follow the rules and regulations.
Flores said that cross dressing and taking advantage of fellow cadets will not be tolerated.
She revealed there had been instances when members of the third sex were admitted in the PMA, but these individuals did not stay long in the academy because they failed to cope with the training.
Flores cited a case in which a gay cadet managed to stand the rigid training and eventually graduated.
Meanwhile, the officials also announced that the PMA is now preparing to once again accept foreign cadets beginning next year.
When asked what the requirements are for foreign nationals who would like to become cadets in the PMA, Flores said: “Basically pareho, plus language, kailangan makahabol sila alam natin ibang bansa sa Asia yung iba medyo nahihirapan... ang hiling natin ipadadala marunong-runong na ng wikang English.”
Earlier, the PMA also announced that for this year, it will be accepting interested applicants with a minimum height of 5 feet, both for male and female. The lowering of the height requirement from 5'4 for male and 5'2 for female, is expected to bring about increase in the number of applicants.
The changes in the minimum height requirement came about when it was observed during the conduct of the Limited Physical Excamination (LPA) in different exam centers that many are denied the chance to go through the first phase of the selection process just because they failed to meet the height requirement.
The PMA cadetship application form will be distributed nationwide and it can be downloaded from the PMA official website, http://www.pma.ph.
Examinees must be a natural born Filipino citizen, physically fit, single and never been married; must be at least 17 years old but not a day older than 22 years on April 1 of the year following the date of examination; and a high school graduate.
All interested and qualified applicants must complete the information in the application form and subsequently attach two copies of 2x2 ID picture, authenticated or National Statistic Office copy of birth certificate, and a certified true copy of High School Form 137.
The form filled shall be mailed back with data to the Office of Cadet Admission, PMA, Fort Del Pilar 2602, Baguio City, not later than two weeks before the scheduled examination date which is on Aug. 26.
PMA entrance tests will be held on 37 testing center nationwide. The entrance examination covers algebra and geometry, grammar and composition, reading comprehension, verbal and numerical reasoning and pattern analysis.
By ELENA L. ABEN