Linggo, Hunyo 26, 2016

“PMAyers” in the 17th Congress

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.

CAVALIERS - (1st Row, L-R) PMAyers Rep. Gary Alejano Class’ 95, Rep. Sam Pagdilao Class ‘79, Rep. Ashley Acedillo Class  ‘99, Senator Sonny Trillanes Class‘95, Rep. Boboy Tupas Class ‘94 / 2nd Row, L-R: Cavaliers Rep. Pol Bataoil  Class ‘76, Senator Greg Honasan  Class ‘71, Senator Ping Lacson Class ‘71, Rep. Amado Espino Class ‘72, Rep. Romy Acop  Class ‘70). Photo Credit: Congressman Gary Alejano.

“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”.

Outgoing three term Pangasinan Governor Espino, a come backing member of Congress, came from a scintillating political victory by defeating in a lopsided race Pangasinan 5th District Congresswoman Kimi Cojuangco, while Espino’s son and namesake, a village chief, defeated Cojuangco’s husband Mark in the governorship race of the 44 towns and three cities’ province in the last election by 219, 163 votes in the almost 1,200,000 voters who casted their votes.
Mark is the son of San Miguel Corporation’s Chairman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuango.
"Even during our police days, Governor Espino was already a tactician. He loved to talk about politics," Bataoil quipped.
Tupas, who resigned from the military when he was a captain, won the mayoralty post of Barotac Viejo and in the May 9 election duked out with his sister-in-law lawyer Yvonne Angeli Lee Tupas, wife of outgoing Rep. Neil Tupas, Jr, for the congressional seat of the 5th District of Iloilo Province.
Neil Jr. lost too in the May 9 vice governorship race of Iloilo.
Incoming Rep.Tupas* is the son of the late Iloilo Governor Neil Tupas, Sr.
In the May 2013 election, PMA cavaliers who won the senate were Gregorio B. Honasan (Class 1971) and Antonio F. Trillanes III (1995); while those who won the House of Representatives were Congressmen Rodolfo G. Biazon (1961); and Zambales Governor Hermogenes E. Ebdane Jr. (1970).

The list also includes Lubang, Occidental Mindoro Mayor Juan M. Sanchez (1955); Antipolo City Representative Acop (1970), Pangasinan Governor Espino Jr. (1972); San Manuel, Tarlac Mayor Benjamin D. Tesoro (1975); Alabat, Quezon Mayor Fernando L. Mesa (1975); 2nd District of Pangasinan Representative Bataoil (1976); Tuguegarao, Cagayan Mayor Jefferson P. Soriano (1976); Laoac, Pangasinan Mayor Silverio D. Alarcio Jr. (1976); Bangui, Ilocos Norte Vice-Mayor Fidel A. Cimatu Jr. (1977); Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement Support Partylist Representative Pagdilao Jr. (1979); Barotac Viejo, Iloilo Mayor Raul C. Tupas (1994); and DIWA Partylist Chair Edgar B. Aglipay (1971) represented by his daughter, Atty. Emmelyn Aglipay.

*When Tupas was a plebe or first year at the PMA in 1989, the writer of this article fed him, after he sneaked out from his dormitory to satiate his hunger, with some food in his quarter when the latter worked at the information office there. Then Philippine Constabulary Captain Bataoil became the superior of the writer when the former was assigned at the Tactics Office of the PMA on that year. How times fly, then captain Bataoil became Cotabato City’s chief of police, then Pangasinan Provincial director, then a one-star regional director in Region -1, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to being a two – star general.

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