BY CHARMAINE P. LIRIO
Leaders of progressive party-list groups and families of victims of extra-judicial killings filed today a petition for quo warranto before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET), seeking to disqualify Retired Major Gen. Jovito Palparan from becoming a representative.
In an interview with Bulatlat, Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano said Palparan is ineligible to become a representative since he does not come from a marginalized sector.
“He’s a man of power, not of marginalized sectors. Therefore he is not qualified to be a nominee,” Mariano said.
L-R Cristina Palabay of Gabriela Women’s Party, Erlinda Cadapan, mother of missing UP student Sherlyn Cadapan, Dr. Reynaldo Lesaca, Jr. of Bayan Muna, Renato Reyes, Jr. of Bayan, Bayan Muna Representative Neri Javier Colmenares, (second row) Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza and Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano present their petition of disqualification against retired Major General Jovito Palparan, Jr. before its filing at the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) Tuesday.(Photo by Anna Kristina Virtusio)
The petition cited the Supreme Court (SC) ruling in the cases of Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party vs. Ang Bagong Bayani – OFW Labor Party Go! Go! Philippines, and Banat vs. Comelec, which state that a party-list nominee must come from marginalized and underrepresented sectors.
Palparan ran as first nominee of Bantay in the 2007 party-list elections. Bantay represents victims of communist rebels, Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU), former rebels and security guards.
“Jovito Palparan, Jr. is not an alleged victim of communist rebels, and neither is he a former rebel. Furthermore respondent is definitely not a security guard,” the petition said.
It added that Palparan is a “man of power” since he held high-ranking positions even after he resigned from the military.
Erlinda Cadapan, one of the petitioners and mother of missing UP student Sherlyn, said the former major general does not deserve to be in Congress.
“Ni hindi niya kayang respetuhin ang bill of rights, ang right to life,” she said. (He can’t even respect the bill of rights, the right to life.)
Members of progressive groups troop outside the south gate of the Batasang Pambansa waving banners and posters to protest the assumption of Palparan as party list representative.(Photo by Anna Kristina Virtusio)
Tagged as “the Butcher” by activists, Palparan was found responsible by the SC for the abduction of farmers Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo in Bulacan on suspicion of being communist rebels.
He is also allegedly behind the killings and enforced disappearances of activists, political leaders and journalists during the Arroyo administration.
“How could a retired general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines with a notorious human rights record against the marginalized and underrepresented wherever he was assigned represent the said marginalized and underrepresented when he himself has repressed and suppressed them?” the petition said.
Another petitioner, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr., said they will bring the disqualification case to the Supreme Court if they have to.
Also present in the filing were petitioners Reynaldo Lesaca, Bayan Muna chairperson; Cristina Palabay, Gabriela secretary general; Antonio Flores, auditor of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Joselito Ustarez of Kilusang Mayo Uno, and Cadapan, member of Hustisya, an organization of the families of victims of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances. (Bulatlat.com)