5 ‘PMAyers’ in the 17th Congress
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
LINGAYEN – 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 2nd District Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil, a member of Class 1976 of the Philippine Military Academy.
Pangasinan’s 2nd District Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil, now on his last term, said 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 said.
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 for, 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 to him if he (Acop) wants 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, defeated Pangasinan 5thDistrict Congresswoman Kimi Cojuangco, while Espino’s son and namesake, a village chief, defeated Cojuangco’s husband Mark in the governorship race. 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 5thDistrict 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).
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