DAVAO CITY, February 14, 2004
(STAR) By Edith Regalado - It’s a date.

Senator and presidential aspirant Panfilo Lacson told reporters yesterday that President Arroyo will be his date today, Valentine’s Day.

The two presidential aspirants will be motoring to Baguio City to attend the annual homecoming rites of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) at Fort Pilar.

Mrs. Arroyo will be the guest of honor in the gathering in the academy where Lacson is a member of Class ’71.

"Eh, di magkikita kami at siya ang date ko (So, we will see each other and she will be my date)," Lacson told reporters in jest before he proceeded to Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley.

But the senator turned down the request of reporters to say it again on camera that he would be dating the President.

Lacson said if ever he would actually bump into the President today, all he would do is greet her "Happy Valentine’s Day," but at the same time he said he would be showing his campaign hand signal, a raised clenched fist.

The senator had to cut short his campaign sortie in Southern Mindanao yesterday to be in Baguio today. It was not known, however, if he would be joining the PMA alumni parade on Borromeo Fields at Fort Pilar that will feature the entry of colors of each class who graduated from the country’s premier military institution.

In the same class with Lacson are Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., Sen. Gregorio Honasan and Lacson’s controversial nemesis, Chief Superintendent Eduardo Matillano.

Today would mark the first time that the President would attend the PMA annual alumni homecoming. It is believed that she would be wooing the PMA graduates following the failed July 27 Oakwood mutiny and last month’s restiveness in the military over the demand of the Kawal Pilipino group to oust Defense Secretary Eduardo Ermita.

GMA to be guest of honor at PMA Alumni Homecoming

BAGUIO CITY, (OPS) – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will be the guest of honor at the 99th Philippine Military Academy Homecoming which will be highlighted by the Alumni Parade and Testimonial to the Flag at 9:45 A.M. Saturday (Feb. 14).

Included in a program to be held at the Borromeo Field is the awarding ceremonies for distinguished alumni and PMA cavalier awards for graduates with outstanding accomplishments in various fields.

Among the distinguished alumni awardees are: Cav. Rodolfo Biazon, Senator; Cav. Leandro Mendoza, Secretary of Transportation and Communications; Cav. Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr., PNP chief; Cav. Narciso Abaya, AFP Chief-of-Staff; and Cav. Ernesto de Leon, Flag-officer-in-Command, Philippine Navy.

Defense Secretary Eduardo Ermita, who will the guest speaker, will assist the President in giving awards to celebrators of the Diamond Jubilee Year, Golden Jubilee Year, and Silver Jubilee Year.

Ermita will also swear in the newly elected members of the board of directors of the PMAAAI.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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