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Arroyo lauds Batocabe legacy on education, anti-bullying measures

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POLITIKO - The bible of Philippine Politics

By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Although short as they were, the years given to slain Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Rodel Partylist were not wasted, House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said.

In her eulogy during Batocabe’s memorial service in the House of Representatives on Monday, Arroyo said aside from being “bubbly and daring,” Batocabe left a legacy of 34 laws with national coverage.

“He committed Ako Bicol (Partylist) to making quality education accessible to the masses,” she said.

Arroyo said Batocabe fleshed out his advocacy on education for all with six laws on education—notably the “Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education” or UNIFAST.

Aside from UNIFAST, Arroyo paid tribute to Batocabe for spearheading the passage of the Anti-Bullying Act which became the talk of the town following an incident in Ateneo de Manila Junior High School.

“Rodel was very proud of that law especially when it became a part of the headline consciousness in the weeks just before his assassination. In fact, it was the subject matter of his last radio interviews,” said Arroyo.

Batocabe and his police escort SPO1 Orlando Diaz were assassinated by six armed assailants while attending a gift-giving program for the elderly three days before Christmas.

Arroyo said prior to Batocabe’s murder, the Ako Bicol solon still has 40 other national level bills undergoing various stages in the legislative process. She said she hopes that legislators of the 17th Congress “will honor his memory by expediting as many of them into passage as possible.”

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