By Mortz C. Ortigoza
LINGAYEN – The Lower House of the 17th Congress has five alumni of the elite Philippine Military Academy who would be legislating for the next three years, according to a retired general who is one of them.
Pangasinan’s 2nd District Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil, a last term solon, cited that aside from him, the other PMA graduates who came from the police and the military are Romeo Acop, Gary Alejano, Amado T. Espino, Jr. and Raul Tupas.
“Magdalo Party-list has only one congressman in the 17th Congress,” the soft-spoken Bataoil, a former two-star general, said.
In the 16th Congress the Partly-list had Alejano and another PMAyer Francisco Ashley Acedillo.
Bataoil, Acop, Alejandro, Espino, and Tupas are members of PMA Classes of 1976, 1970, 1994, 1973, 199, respectively.
One of the “PMAyers”, Rep. Samuel Pagdilao, in the 16th Congress ran but failed in his senate bid in the last May 9 election, Bataoil cited.
Bataoil, who spent most of his police tours of duty in Mindanao, said that as of press time he has no preferred committee chairmanships.
But when pressed by Northern Watch what chairmanship his eyes moist, he cited Public Order and Safety, Defense, or Veterans Affairs.
He said he has yet to signify his intention of the top posts to the new leadership under incoming Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of the House of Representatives.
He added that since Rep. Acop, a retired policeman and lawyer, is his senior at PMA, he would give way what the former wants for the chairmanship of any of these committees.
Last 2015, Bataoil, Acop, and Pagdilao led the hearings of the Committee on Public Order and Safety in different parts of the country for the Philippine National Police's Modernization Bill”.