BY RONALYN OLEA
Activists and supporters have wielded the cyberspace in their campaign against retired Major Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr.
As of 10:13 pm on April 26, 2009, more than 1,000 people on the popular social networking site Facebook have joined the cause “Palparan should be in jail, not in Congress nor any other government office.”
Palparan recently took his oath as representative of the Bantay party list group.
The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan – New Patriotic Alliance), creator of the said Facebook “cause”, announced the “milestone” just a few hours before Palparan’s first day in office as congressman. The group led protest actions today at the south gate of the House of Representatives.
Facebook is a social networking site that allows users to create “causes” and “groups” and recruit people to become members. The site allows the exchange of posts, comments, pictures, videos, news links and the like. The various applications and the ease of interaction among members have made Facebook one of the most popular networking sites in the world.
The Facebook “cause” was created on the day the Supreme Court issued a ruling that resulted in Palparan being a member of the House of Representatives. In just four days, the “cause” has gathered more than 1,000 members or supporters coming from various walks of life. Members include students, artists, activists, bloggers, even soldiers, and networks in Philippines as well as in other parts of the world.
Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr, said, “The FB [Facebook] cause was created to raise awareness of Gen. Jovito Palparan and the various human rights abuses he has been involved in. It is also a political statement against what many believe is a gross injustice, that a person like Palparan is able to get a seat in Congress even if he doesn’t represent any marginalized sector and despite his involvement in human rights abuses.”
Reyes said the huge response to the cause reflects indignation over Palparan’s entry into Congress via the party list system. “There is great concern that the Arroyo government has not done anything to make Palparan accountable for his involvement in human rights abuses,” Reyes added.
“For people who may not be able to join rallies, they can still make their voices heard by joining the cause. The FB page is also useful in informing people of updates related to the campaign such as protest actions.” Reyes said. (Bulatlat.com)