Militants going too far

Published by rudy Date posted on April 23, 2009

With the Supreme Court (SC) opening the door to more party-list members of Congress, former Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, known to militants as “The Butcher” and being a top nominee of his party, Bantay, won a seat and is expected to join Congress soon.

This development did not sit well with the leftist party-listers, with Bayan Muna and Gabriela, and other leftist groups vowing to get Palparan and his party-list disqualified.

Bayan Muna claimed that both party and nominee should come from the marginalized sector and that Palparan cannot be considered marginalized because he held military power, apart from Palparan having a lot to answer for, specifically the allegations that he is behind the killings of militant leaders while he was an active army officer.

I don’t particularly care for the ways and the intolerance of the former military officer, but these party- list leftists are going too far in getting anyone they dislike disqualified.

If Palparan’s party-list won, and he is its top nominee, as per ruling of the high court, he has every right to sit in Congress and enjoy the same rights these leftists enjoy in the House of Representatives, if he has been deemed to have qualified, given the SC ruling.

True, Palparan is alleged to be behind the many extra-judicial killings and disappearances of militants, but this is hardly ground to disqualify the alleged Butcher. Even a convict is allowed to run, and if he wins, he still has that right to take that seat. The problem a convict would have of course would be similar to the problem of convicted rapist Romeo Jalosjos who won a congressional seat while in prison.

What the leftists should do, if they believe him to be the Butcher, is to file murder charges against Palparan, in a court of law, but even these charges would not disqualify him from having won a party-list seat and taking that seat as he is not in detention.

As for Palparan and his party not belonging to the marginalized sector, what do these leftists think of some business groups seated as party-listers in Congress? A marginalized sector too? How come they haven’t been as vociferous in their objections against them as they are today against Palparan and his party-list?

The militants alleged that Palparan does not belong to the marginalized sector because he held military power. But he certainly does not hold that power today and again, this can hardly be a ground for disqualification.

The leftists said Bantay, Palparan’s party, profited from the support of Malacañang and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the 2007 elections.

Quoting Bayan, it said: “Palparan is gloating at the fact that he gets to sit in Congress and terrorize the public anew. He owes his latest position to the support given by Malacañang and the AFP for his congressional bid in 2007. Can there be any question as to where his loyalties lie now?”

Now, that is pretty undemocratic, to say the least. The AFP’s officers and men also enjoy the right of suffrage, as much as every leftist and communist do, and as much as Gloria and her Malacañang aides do — as long as it is on a one man, one vote principle. So what is wrong with the AFP and Malacañang giving their support to Palparan and his Bantay party-list as long as the election rules were not breached?

The leftists also won on the support of their sympathizers, including the communists. They profited from that vote. Is that wrong too?

In much the same way, some party-list congressmen won their seats by virtue of the support they got from religious groups, such as the El Shaddai and Jesus is Lord. Is this wrong? If not, why should it be right for the leftists to be supported by the commies and right for party-listers such as Buhay and Cibac to be supported by their religious organizations, but wrong for a former military officer who is supported by the administration and military? That’s not only pretty undemocratic but thoroughly intolerant of these militants.

But Bayan claimed that Palparan’s Bantay is a “Malacañang and AFP backed pseudo-party-list group” that would give the former general “a new platform to terrorize the people.”

How would Palparan terrorize the people in Congress? His is only one vote.

In a representative government, which is what our Congress is supposed to be, everyone should be represented — including idiots.

There really should be a party-list representing idiots, but then again, Congress is already filled with idiots.–Ninez Cacho-Olivares, Daily Tribune

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