Palparan accession to Congress, bad news for human rights

No news could be worse than a notorious human rights violator being a member of Congress and the most unpleasant news had to come on the day when his victims were killed six years ago.

Retired Gen. Jovito Palparan, Jr. dubbed as “The Butcher” had figured in the killing of Karapatan-Southern Tagalog Secretary General Eden Marcellana and peasant leader Eddie Gumanoy who was Secretary General of Kasama-TK on April 22, 2003.

Human rights watchdog Karapatan said that the possibility of retired Gen. Jovito Palparan, Jr. occupying a seat in the House of Representative is very bad news and warned that he would use his position to further incite the campaign of annihilation against human rights defenders and activists.

Karapatan blamed the Arroyo government for Palparan’s audacity to run for office because “the President dragged its foot on the twin killings of Eden and Eddie, continued to praise and promote Palparan and failed to pursue criminal proceedings against him even if its own Melo Commission have recommended to do so.”

Karapatan Secretary General Marie Hilao-Enriquez also said Palparan’s possible seat “sends a wrong signal to perpetrators that they can continue committing human rights violations with impunity.”

Hilao-Enriquez also lamented flaws in our election law, one is that the Party List system is being circumvented by dubious parties such as Palparan’s Bantay.  “What marginalized sector does he represent? Criminals?” Hilao-Enriquez concluded.#