LINGAYEN –- Retired Philippine National Police (PNP) General Leopoldo Bataoil has stressed that joining politics is a right of every citizen in a democratic country.

“We respect their decision to serve, and we urge them to respect us too, who serve God, country and people,” this was his message to Nacionalista Party (NP) senatorial candidates Liza Maza and Satur Ocampo, who, together with other NP national candidates, had sorties in some areas in Pangasinan Saturday.

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Bataoil took offense with the remarks of the two NP candidates against retired military and police generals running for office this May elections.

Maza said the goal of these generals in joining the political exercise is “to protect the interests they have acquired when they were still in active military service.”

“Understandably, Congressmen Satur and Liza Maza are against their nemesis, not only for this election but in many undertakings. The military and the police have preserved the stability of our country against communist insurgency, and that’s a fact,” Bataoil said in a text message.

“Consultative process is not limited to civilian sector, even military and police field commanders exercise participative leadership. Records of former military and police commanders who made good in politics as servant leaders are inspiring not for others to emulate. Let the people decide,” Bataoil further stated.

Bataoil is running for congressman in the second district of Pangasinan under the Lakas-Kampi-CMD and the provincial political party Biskeg na Pangasinan.

The other retired generals running for elective posts here are Presidential Management Staff Chief Hermogenes Jr. (for congressman, sixth district), Bataoil’s mistah Silverio Alarcio Jr. (for mayor, Laoac town), retired Vice Admiral Virgilio Marcelo (for mayor, San Manuel town).

Retired police officers who are running for re-election are Governor Amado Espino Jr., Rosales Mayor Ricardo Revita, Sta. Barbara Mayor Reynaldo Velasco, and Bani Mayor Marcelo Navarro Jr.