BY RONALYN V. OLEA
Left-leaning groups vowed to block retired Major General Jovito Palparan Jr.’s proclamation as partylist representative.
In light of the Supreme Court ruling on April 21 adding 32 additional partylist representatives in Congress, Bantay partylist will get one seat and thus make Palparan a member of Congress.
House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo declared ‘that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s loyal butcher does not deserve a seat in Congress or in any government office.’
“Palparan is a notorious human rights violator and has been instrumental in the extrajudicial killings of members of marginalized and underrepresented sectors in society.” “Rewarding this acknowledged notorious human rights violator with a seat in Congress will be a mockery of the partylist system,” Ocampo said.
The leftist legislator disclosed that they are preparing an urgent motion for the disqualification of Palparan as a partylist nominee.
Ocampo asserted that Palparan is not marginalized and he does not represent any marginalized sector.
Ocampo cited the SC in upholding its June 26, 2001 ruling that states, “The party-list organization or party must factually and truly represent the marginalized and underrepresented constituencies mentioned in Section 5. Concurrently, the persons nominated by the party-list candidate-organization must be “Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors, organizations and parties.”
In a separate statement, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan-New Patriotic Alliance) accused Bantay Partyist of retired general and notorious human rights violator Jovito Palparan as a ‘Malacañang and AFP[Armed Forces of the Philippines]-supported pseudo-partylist group’ that would give the former general ‘a new platform to terrorize the people.’
Bayan said that during the 2007 campaign, there were incidents that showed that elements of the military were clearly campaigning for Palparan and the Bantay partylist, in clear violation of their mandate as members of the AFP. One incident in Bocaue, Bulacan even resulted in a confrontation between 11 soldiers and supporters of CIBAC partylist and mayoral candidate, Eduardo Villanueva, Jr. son of Bro. Eddie Villaneuva.
The group also reminded lawmakers that Palparan was tagged by a ruling of the Court of Appeals as being involved in the abduction and torture of the Manalo brothers and the missing UP students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan. The CA ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court. Even the Malacanang-created Melo Commission found Palparan liable for human rights abuses under the principle of command responsibility.
Palparan has been appointed by President Macapagal-Arroyo as director of Freeport Services Corp. (FSC), a subsidiary of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA). The recent Supreme Court decision gives him a choice to become congressman.
“Macapagal-Arroyo has always praised and rewarded Palparan. But the buck stops here. He is simply not qualified to run in the partylist system,” Ocampo said.
Renato Reyes Jr. Bayan secretary general said, “Why does Malacanang keep on rewarding Palparan despite his human rights record, the clear findings of the Melo Commission and the ruling of the Court of Appeals? Only a truly callous, insensitive and equally evil regime would appoint someone like Palparan to a government post. Arroyo has proven herself quite a coddler of human rights violators.”
In February 2009, 40 legislators filed House Resolution 999 opposing Palparan’s appointment to any post.
The resolution, initiated by Ocampo, was signed by 40 others from Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anakpawis, Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), Nacionalista Party (NP), Lakas-CMD, Balane, Liberal Party (LP), CIBAC, An Waray, Anak Mindanao, Kampi, Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), Partido Demokratiko-Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP), and Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP).
“Palparan should be in jail, not in Congress or in any other government office,” Reyes said.
Meanwhile, Anakpawis party list also opposed the proclamation of Palparan and ANAD number one nominee Jun Alcover.
Anakpawis said Palparan and Alcover both served the government as military assets of the administration.
Cherry Clemente, Anakpawis secretary general said,“Like Palparan, ANAD leader Jun Alcover is a known asset of the military and is notorious for his malicious comments against Kilusang Mayo Uno and other progressive organizations.” (Bulatlat.com)