CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Ben Balce / May 11) – Controversial retired major general Jovito Palparan Jr. yesterday said he was optimistic his party-list group Bantay would win votes in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental that are needed for the group to send representatives to the Lower House.
Palparan, who rose to national prominence for his fight against communist rebels, is the top nominee of the party-list group Bantay. The group has four nominees.
In a news conference here, the 57-year old Palparan said he was seeking the help of Cagayanons and Misamisnons.
Palparan is a native of Cagayan de Oro. He was born on Antonio Luna street and he went to grade school and high school in the city.
“My appeal to my fellow Cagayanons is that they vote for Bantay, not Palparan, in Monday’s elections,” said Palparan.
Palparan said he plans to pursue his crusade against the communist insurgency in Congress.
“There is nothing wrong in communism as an ideology. What is wrong is their armed rebellion,” said Palparan.
Palparan has been accused of masterminding the killings of activists in the countrysides, a charge that he vehemently denied.
“Do you know what Bantay is? Yung ‘Bowowow’? The dog is the man’s best friend,” said Palparan, adding that the group would be the Filipino’s “best friend” in Congress.
Palparan said national security and the economy were on top of his priorities.
“With my entry, my focus will be on the communities that have become victims of our security problems. We have problems in economics and security,” Palparan said.
“There are direct victims and consequential victims. In the communities, people cannot work because of the conflict.”
Palparan said communist rebels want people to remain poor so they could exploit them.
“”It is not true that they want to uplift the lives of the people.”
Many people, he said, are unskilled, and “because they lack the skills, they cannot find work.”
In a way, Palparan said, Bantay could be described as an “anti-communist group.”
“Communism is nagging problem,” he said. “Insurgentss promote revolution, and we cannot allow that.”