PALACE: PROPOSALS TO ABOLISH PMA NEED CAREFUL STUDY

MALACANANG, August 23, 2003 (STAR) By Marichu Villanueva  - Malacañang said yesterday proposals to abolish the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) must undergo careful study, and not be a knee-jerk solution to prevent military-led coup d’etats in the future.

Presidential chief of staff Rigoberto Tiglao said some quarters, including lawmakers, have indeed raised such proposals, with the legislators vowing to file a bill seeking to abolish the PMA as the country’s premier training school for future officers of the Armed Forces.

"These (proposals) are being carefully studied," he said. "But we have to get the views here of the Armed Forces."

Tiglao said one proposal submitted to the Palace suggests that the PMA be patterned after the military schools in Australia.

"Under the Australian model, college graduates apply to military schools where they would be trained for one to two years," he said.

"Or there could be a combination of proposals that could be applicable to our situation," he said.

Tiglao said the Feliciano Commission could look into the proposals as inputs in its ongoing investigation into the failed July 27 mutiny in Makati City.

Amid reports of another brewing coup attempt against her administration, President Arroyo attended a dinner meeting with the PMA corps of cadets and officials, led by PMA superintendent Maj. Gen. Edilberto Adan, at Fort Del Pilar in Baguio City yesterday.

Several members of the PMA Class 1995, led by Navy Lt. Senior Grade Antonio Trillanes IV, were behind the failed mutiny. Trillanes’ wife, Army Capt. Arlene Orejana, one of the first female graduates of the PMA who graduated with top honors, is now a faculty member of the PMA.

The new coup threat was bared the other day by Chief Superintendent Reynaldo Berroya, Philippine National Police Civil Security Group director, who alleged that Sen. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan, still in hiding after he was implicated in the failed mutiny, was recruiting policemen and soldiers for another coup attempt against the Arroyo administration.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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