I am wishing all the luck in the world to many retired Philippine Military Academy graduates, two of them ex-Philippine National Police chiefs in the person of retired Generals Arturo ‘Art’ Lomibao and Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa who are running for different elective posts in the forthcoming 2019 mid-term polls. Lomibao belongs to PMA Class 1972 while dela Rosa is a product of PMA ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986.
Of course, who in this country do not know the ever popular ‘Bato’ dela Rosa who is gunning for a Senate seat, hoping to use his popularity —as a tough Chief, PNP who spearheaded President Duterte’s war on drugs, criminality and rogues in uniform from July 2016 to last April—, to propel him to Senate.
‘Bato’ has been doing good in popularity surveys and just like former Special Presidential Assistant Bong Go may win a Senate seat if only local government units will campaign for them sincerely. Right now, ‘Bato’s advantage is he appears to have the vote of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces. That’s more than 250,000 strong votes plus the votes of the families, friends and supporters of the police and the military.
Lomibao, a famed rebel hunter who became the 12th PNP chief is one of the nominees under the party-list One Philippines which adheres to a vision of “National Unity to Build a Better Philippines for All Filipinos,” hoping to help address the problem of a nation divided by political rivalries and differences, ruled mostly by family dynasties and controlled by oligarchs, threatened by crime and corruption and endangered by illegal drugs and terrorism.
One of the highlights in Lomibao’s more than 34 years in the military and police service is his role in the capture of Bernabe Buscayno alias Commander Dante, the most wanted New People’s Army leader in the 1970s. Right now, my Nong Art—he stood as one of the principal sponsors when i wed my wife Candy in historic San Agustin Church in Intramuros more than 20 years ago, is loving his role as a ‘caregiver’ to his 10-year old son Christian and bodyguard to wife Jacky.
Other retired generals who are running for elective posts next year are my good friends Pol Bataoil, Boying Alarcio, Jeff Soriano and Jimmy Caringal, all distinguished members of PMA Class 1976 who are known for their solid track record and good service reputation just like Generals Lomibao and dela Rosa.
Bataoil, a former PNP spokesman and Metro Manila police director is now seeking the mayoralty post of Lingayen, Pangasinan after serving as Pangasinan (2nd District) Representative for three consecutive terms and authoring a number of legislations that will serve the Fiipino people, law enforcers included.
Alarcio, a former PNP Special Action Force commander is now seeking the vice-mayoralty post of Laoac, Pangasinan after serving as its mayor for nine straight years. Being a mayor for three consecutive terms is really not a small feat, it’s actually a proof that an honest-to-goodness official will always be voted by the electorate despite all the odds.
Soriano, also a former National Capital Region Police Office director who retired as a 3-star police general-PNP Deputy Chief for Administation-is seeking a 3rd term as mayor of Tuguegarao City. A lawyer-seasoned police investigator, intelligence and operations officer, Soriano was elected by majority of Tuguegarao City residents but his stint since 2013 has been marred by a number of suspensions, courtesy of his moneyed rivals.
For the record, Jeff Soriano has the distinction of being suspended thrice by the anti-graft court over alleged irregularities in the performance of his duty as mayor but he has proven his innocence time and time again and has managed to assume his post, welcomed very much by his constituents.
One of the best intelligence officers the PNP has ever produced, Caringal, ‘Datu Puti’ to colleagues and friends like us is running as Representative of the 2nd District of Laguna which is home to Cabuyao City, one of the richest cities in the province and in the entire Calabarzon region.
A mistah of Lomibao from PMA Class 1972, retired Colonel Amado Espino is also seeking another term as Pangasinan (5th District) representative. Espino enjoys the trust and confidence of the entire Pangasinan province which has elected him governor for three straight terms or from 2007 to 2016.
Then there is also retired Police Senior Superintendent Cezar Mancao II, a classmate of dela Rosa and PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde from PMA Class 1986 who is seeking a congressional post under the Kilusang MayPagasa party-list. Mancao’s party-list ideology, I learned is anchored on our famous patriot Andres Bonifacio ‘ ideals of patriotic spirit, nationalist economy and social balance.
I heard that another friend, retired police Chief Supt. Fidel Posadas of PNP Academy Class 1983 is also seeking the mayoralty post of Urbiztondo, Pangasinan while retired Maor Ricardo Revita is seeking reelection as mayor of Rosales, Pangasinan.
There is also the odd case of retired Chief Supt. Elmer Jamias of PNPA Class 1986 who is running for the vice-mayoralty post of Manila as an independent candidate. Jamias initially had boasted he will be the running-mate of Mayor Alfredo Lim but it proved to be untrue. Will the ‘Barako ng Maynila’ do a miracle in May 2019?
And here’s one for the books: my friend, fellow Rider and beermate, ex-Police Chief Inspector Jonathan ‘Balde’ Baldevarona of PMA Class 1991 is running as an independent candidate for senator.
I was told that there are still many retired police officers and men who have filed their candidacy before the Comelec deadline but I have yet to get the official list. That would be another piece.