Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Davao pastor asks anti-communist partylist groups to leave

By Jeffrey M. Tupas
Inquirer Mindanao
First Posted 11:37:00 04/08/2010

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Politics, Elections, Religion & Belief, Religions, Armed conflict

Original Story:

DAVAO CITY – For televangelist Apollo Quiboloy, the presence of anti-communist partylist leaders, retired Major General Jovito Palparan and Pastor “Jun” Alcover, is a spark plug that could blow up and burn down the city.

And his advice to the leaders of Bantay and Alliance for National Democracy partylists is simple: “lie low and leave…”

Quiboloy’s suggestion came as tensions worsened between the camps of Palparan and Alcover, and that of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte over the abduction and killing of two of Palparan’s political campaigners.

Quiboloy described Palparan and Alcover as the “irritants of the city” that deserve to be “uprooted and taken out.”

“Their positions are very incendiary so they must lie low and leave the city. They are making the situation worse. When they were not here, the situation was not like this,” Quiboloy told reporters Tuesday night after the Sukatan 2010 Vice Presidential Forum that he hosted at the headquarters of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name in Buhangin.

Even President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he said, was worried about the situation in Davao. He said Ms Arroyo called him and asked for his guidance about the fragile political landscape of Davao.

“I told her that it would be best if we talk with our leaders here. I have also talked to military officials here and gave some suggestions – to take out the irritants,” he said.

“If we cannot stop them, if we cannot remedy the situation, things could get worse, which would warrant presidential intervention,” he added.

Quiboloy said the objectives of Palparan and Alcover might be good but their actions have been stirring conflict.

The camp of Alcover has blamed Duterte for the abduction and death of Juliana Noquera and Ronald Miranda. Duterte said the allegation was absurd, stressing that he would not gain anything from it.

Meanwhile, a Mindanao-based human rights monitor said the killing of Palparan supporters “might be a portent of intense attacks on progressive partylists, candidates and their supporters that may imperil the democratic exercise of elections in the region.”

Professor Mae Fe Templa, convenor of Barug Katungod Mindanao, said the killings came at the height of attacks initiated by Palparan and Alcover against officials of the city government and progressive partylist groups and their supporters.

“We are worried that the killings were part of efforts to build a scenario of unrest in Davao, to stir more anti-communist hysteria, which may lead to human rights violations. That is what Palparan and his minions wanted – for violence to erupt in Davao,” Templa said.

Barug Katungod Mindanao is supported by the European Union under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights program.

Templa said that with Palparan's atrocious record for human rights violations and attacks against the progressive groups, recent events could lead to “disenfranchisement of local residents and leaders and members of progressive organizations as witch-hunting follows.”

The bodies of Noquera and Miranda were found separately Saturday or 10 days after they were abducted by armed men and forced into a waiting vehicle in Calinan District here.

Noquera, 51, was found in a beach in Sta. Maria in Davao del Sur Saturday while Miranda, 41, was found in a beach in Kaputian in the Island Garden City of Samal on the same day.

Palparan, who is now running for Senate, has earned the moniker “the butcher” for allegedly ordering the killings and disappearances of activists, peasants, lawyers and members of progressive organizations in Central Luzon, Mindoro and Eastern Visayas.

Human rights groups have blamed Palparan for the deaths of 39 people in Southern Tagalog Region from 2001 to 2003, 25 in Eastern Visayas in 2005, and 77 in Central Luzon in 2006.

Original Story:

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