As the Philippine Military Academy’s “GabayLaya” Class of 2016 nears graduation, it’s high time to take a look at some interesting trivia about the country’s top military school.
Anybody expected that one of Thailand’s most respected generals graduated at the PMA?
General Tumrongsak Deemongkol, former chief of the Thai Royal Army, actually graduated at the PMA and belongs to the Class of 1976. According to former AFP Chief of Staff Alexander Yano, his classmate, known as Tui in their class, was one of the most disciplined students he met at the academy, and this sense of discipline led him to finish Top 8 in their batch.
General Tumrongsak later became a Royal DefenseAttache of Thailand to the Philippines while he was still a colonel, but he gained widespread popularity in his home country when he took part in the ouster of the Thaksin administration in 2006.
Aside from General Tumrongsak, another key leader in the ouster of Thaksin graduated at the PMA.
Maj. General ThawipNetniyom, this time of Class 1981, graduated top of his batch at the academy. He was known by his batchmates to be one of the most diligent, and was described to be “very good in Math but poor in English,” which he compensated by bringing a dictionary all the time.
Both generals are still active in attending PMA reunions; Thawip is known to be always present in foundation day celebrations, while Tumrongsak still knows how to speak Tagalog, which he learned during his time at the academy.