Karapatan seeks disqualification of Abang Lingkod partylist

Karapatan today joined Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) in filing a complaint at the Commission on Elections for the removal and/or cancellation of registration of Abang Lingkod partylist. The complaint was filed by Wilfredo Marbella, Deputy Secretary General of KMP and Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan chairperson. The complaint included a petition to deny due course and/or cancel certificate of nomination. 

The complaint stated that, “Abang Lingkod is not a party-list group of the marginalized and underrepresented peasant/farmer sector“ because Abang Lingkod’s objectives “do not contain anything that relates to peasant/farmer sector and,  none of its incorporator and trustees are peasants/farmers.” On the contrary, “its nominees and leaders possess interest in conflict and adverse to the interests of peasants/farmers.” 

Marie Hilao Enriquez said that Karapatan is specially concerned with Abang Lingkod’s standard bearer, Joseph Stephen Paduano aka Carapali Lualhati, the national commander of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB).  RPA-ABB has been involved with numerous cases of human rights violations, specifically in Negros Occidental and Oriental. It is widely known that RPA-ABB now functions as a paramilitary group.

The complaint cited that “by nominating Paduano as its standard bearer, ABANG LINGKOD for all intents and purposes, ties up its supposed advocacy with him. Hence, whatever advocacy that Paduano carries is attributed to that of ABANG LINGKOD. It could be very well concluded that Paduano’s track record of violating the rights of peasants/farmers is also reflective of the nature, character and objectives of ABANG LINGKOD.” 

The complaint also mentioned that Paduano, through his group RPA-ABB, was a recipient of “funding from the government and big landlords in Negros, hence a ground for removal and/or cancellation of ABANG LINGKOD’s registration with this Honorable Commission.” 

“The government, through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, has admitted to giving funding support to Paduano and the RPA-ABB totaling P31 million already disbursed under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) program. Thus on November 2011, Representative Antonio Tinio questioned the allocation by OPPAP of P329-million for livelihood assistance to some 970 barangays in communities identified with RPA-ABB.” 

Paduano, along with Patrick Leonard S. Lacson, Provincial Board Member of  Negros Occidental were named defendants of the complaint. 

In 2001, the Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga (MAD) was disqualified when the Comelec and the Supreme Court discovered that it was funded by the Philippine National Police “using public funds.” ###