By Former Captain Gabriel Ortigoza, Ph.D
Philippine Military Academy (PMA), the premier military institution of the Philippines, is in the limelight with intense scrutiny as boldly printed in the headlines of national newspapers, online articles and blogs, and in tri and social media this past week in relation to the issue of a graduating cadet being dismissed for coming two minutes late to class. The "two minutes late" is only a tip of an iceberg. There is much deeper into it.
|Then Captain Ortigoza joined to inspect with the guest|
of honor the Long Gray Line when
he was still a military professor at the Philippine
Military Academy in Baguio City
Before I discuss the issue please allow me to give you a brief history of the Philippine Military Academy as lifted from my briefing notes when I was still in the Corps of Professors, PMA.
The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) is a degree-granting institution especially created by law for the purpose of training, developing, and instructing certain selected young men to become commission officers in the regular component of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The Philippine Military Academy began as an officer’s school of the Philippine Constabulary established at the Walled City of Intramuros in Manila on February 17, 1905. Three years later, on September 1, 1908, the school was transferred to Baguio City, first at Camp Henry T. Allen and later at Teachers’ Camp.
On September 8, 1926, the Philippine Legislature passed Act No. 3496 renamed the school as Philippine Constabulary Academy and lengthened its course from nine months to three years, with a provision to strengthen the faculty and revise its curriculum.
On December 21, 1936, the Commonwealth Act No. 1, also known as the National Defense Act was passed. The law formally created the Philippine Military Academy and authorized it to confer a Bachelor of Science degree on its graduates after they successfully complete the four-year course.
On May 5, 1947, the Academy reopened at Camp Henry T. Allen. Due to the need for wider ground for training, the Academy transferred to its permanent home at Fort Del Pilar in Loakan, about ten kilometers from downtown Baguio City.