“Fifth, the party or organization must not be an adjunct of, or a project organized or an entity funded or assisted by, the government. By the very nature of the party-list system, the party or organization must be a group of citizens, organized by citizens and operated by citizens. It must be independent of the government. The participation of the government or its officials in the affairs of a party-list candidate is not only illegal and unfair to other parties, but also deleterious to the objective of the law: to enable citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors and organizations to be elected to the House of Representatives.”[Emphasis supplied]
- Far from belonging to a marginalized and underrepresented sector, respondent Jovito Palparan, Jr. is a “man of power”, and in fact, he continues to wield power even after his retirement from military service with the rank of Major General.
- The truth is respondent Jovito Palparan, Jr. was never a marginalized individual, but for practically more than half of his life, he has wielded power by virtue of his being a high-ranking officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, for which he has been accused, and widely believe to have committed, a plethora of human rights violations, including the extrajudicial killings of legal activists.
- The Honorable Tribunal may consider the following military career of respondent Jovito Palparan, Jr. 2, thus:
- Commanding General, 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, Philippine Army (September 21, 2005-September 11, 2006)
- Commanding General, 8th Infantry Division, Catbalogan, Samar (2005)
- Chief of Staff, Philippine Army
- Commander, Philippine Humanitarian Contingent in Iraq
- Brigade Commander, 204th Brigade, Mindoro and Romblon
- Commander, Task Force Banahaw, CALABARZON
- Commanding Officer, Doctrine Center
- Commander, AFP Rapid Deployment Force
- Commander, 24th Infantry Battalion for 5 years
- Lieutenant, served in Basilan and Sulu for eight years
- Commissioned, called to active duty to the AFP in 1973
- From the foregoing, there is no doubt that respondent Jovito Palparan has always been a “man of power”, and not one who belongs to a marginalized and underrepresented sector.
- At this juncture, it must be stressed, as the Honorable Supreme Court has in several occasions stressed, that the party-list system is a social justice tool designed to enable the great masses of the Filipino people to become lawmakers themselves through their representatives, who comes from them, in order, among others, to give life to the constitutional mandate of the right of the people and their organizations to effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social, political and economic decision-making.
- Contrary to this, respondent Jovito Palparan is publicly known to have nothing but sheer contempt for the organizations of the marginalized and underrepresented, and for progressive individuals, which he has publicly declared must be stopped in their advocacies at any cost.
- Significantly, the Honorable Supreme Court, in the case of Secretary of National Defense vs. Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo [G.R. No. 180906, 7 October 2008], affirmed the Court of Appeals ruling in C.A. G.R. Amparo No. 00001 [26 December 2007] that respondent Jovito Palparan was “directly involved” in the abduction of farmer-brothers Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo in Bulacan on suspicion of being communist rebels, thus:
“We affirm the factual findings of the appellate court, largely based on respondent Raymond Manalo’s affidavit and testimony, viz:
Gen. Palparan’s participation in the abduction was also established. At the very least, he was aware of the petitioners’ captivity at the hands of men in uniform assigned to his command. In fact, he or any other officer tendered no controversion to the firm claim of Raymond that he (Gen. Palparan) met them in person in a safehouse in Bulacan and told them what he wanted them and their parents to do or not to be doing. Gen. Palparan’s direct and personal role in the abduction might not have been shown but his knowledge of the dire situation of the petitioners during their long captivity at the hands of military personnel under his command bespoke of his indubitable command policy that unavoidably encouraged and not merely tolerated the abduction of civilians without due process of law and without probable cause. [Emphasis supplied]
- Indeed, allowing respondent Jovito Palparan’s nomination as a representative of Bantay is tantamount to the “bastardization” of the party-list system.
- Again, 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?
RETIRED MILITARY GENERALS LIKE RESPONDENT JOVITO PALPARAN, AND THEIR POLICE COUNTERPARTS, ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PARTY-LIST NOMINEES AND REPRESENTATIVES BECAUSE THEY DO NOT BELONG TO, AND CANNOT REPRESENT THE MARGINALIZED AND UNDERREPRESENTED SECTORS OF PHILIPPINE SOCIETY.
- It is respectfully submitted that retired military generals like respondent Jovito Palparan, Jr., and their counterparts in the police, cannot truly represent the marginalized and underrepresented sectors of Philippine society.