Karapatan welcomes disqualification of Bantay Partylist

Karapatan today said it is pleased with the decision of the Commission on Election to disqualify Bantay partylist, a known anti-left partylist that was represented in Congress by “The Butcher”, Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr., who is now charged in court for kidnapping and serious illegal detention of the two missing UP students, Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.” Bantay partylist’s number one nominee at present is Evangeline Palparan, wife of the fugitive general.

“We welcome COMELEC’s decision because Bantay partylist did nothing in Congress but to bark at the progressive members of Congress and those it calls as leftist organizations. It does not represent the marginalized. On the contrary, Bantay did nothing but to justify the armed forces’ rampage against leaders of organizations of the marginalized farmers, workers, indigenous peoples, women and youth and communities where these organizations exist,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.

Bantay, Palabay said, “represents the government’s counterinsurgency program, primarily implemented by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and is directed against the poor who struggles against poverty, oppression and exploitation.” 

Karapatan also called for the disqualification of the Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD) and the Abang Lingkod Partylist that is led by a paramilitary group called the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) operating in the provinces of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental. “ANAD is but a clone of Bantay. It’s one of the complements of the armed forces’ psywar machinery that spreads anti-left hysteria among the people, with a mantra that ‘if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck’.”

Earlier, Karapatan with the Kilusan ng mga Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) filed a petition at the COMELEC to disqualify Abang Lingkod saying that the group does not represent the marginalized and underrepresented peasant/farmer sector. Its nominees and leaders, according to the petition “possess interest in conflict and adverse to the interests of peasants/farmers.”

Abang Lingkod’s number one nominee is Joseph Stephen Paduano aka Carapali Lualhati, the national commander of the RPA-ABB. RPA-ABB has been involved with numerous cases of human rights violations, specifically in Negros Occidental and Oriental. The group also received from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) a P329-million livelihood assistance supposedly for the communities of RPA-ABB.”

Karapatan, in its 4th Congress held in August, came out with a resolution outlining the human rights agenda for the 2013 elections. “We are keenly following the 2013 elections as we actively participate in ensuring that those with records of human rights violations do not make it to the elections,” Palabay said.