This is a great year for women in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). For starters, 63 out of 167 cadets set to graduate on Sunday, March 12, are women. That's the most number of female cadets since women were accepted into the PMA 24 years ago.
ABS-CBN News recalls: "Republic Act No. 7192 granted women in the Philippines equal access to the service academies, and the first batch of female cadets were accepted into the PMA in April 1993."
The valedictorian of PMA Salaknib (Sanggalang ay Lakas at Bukay Para sa Kalayaan ng Inang Bayan) is also a woman, Rovi Mairel Valino Martinez of Cabanatuan City.
PMA SALAKNIB Class Top 10 & other awardees led by valedictorian Cadet First Class Rovi Mairel Martinez of Cabanatuan City (PIA CAR) pic.twitter.com/mjn8xB9TWF— PIA Gitnang Luzon (@PIA_RIII) March 6, 2017
Martinez is the fourth female to top a graduating class since the academy's first class with women graduated in 1997. She joins three past female valedictorians: Arlene dela Cruz of Camiling of Tarlac (1999), Tara Velasco of Marikina (2003), and Andrelee Samson Mojica of Cavite (2007).
Another thing that makes Martinez's class extraordinary is that there are eight women in the Top 10.
The PMA Class of 2017 top 10 are as follows:
1. Rovi Mairel Valino Martinez of Cabanatuan City
2. Philip Modesto Viscaya of Ligao City, Albay
3. Eda Glis Buansi Marapao of Baguio City
4. Cathleen Jovie Santiano Baybayan of San Fernando, Pampanga
5. Carlo Emmanuel Manalasan of Canlas, Pampanga
6. Shiela Joy Ramiro Jallorina of Bagabag, Nueva Viscaya
7. Sheil Marie Calonge De Guzman of Manaoag, Pangasinan
8. Joyzy Mencias Funchica of Butuan City
9. Resie Jezreel Arrocena Hucalla of Compostella Valley
10.Catherine Mae Emeterio Gonzales of Zamboanga City