Who is Jun Pala? Get to know Liberal Party’s “Poster Boy” in the words of his victims

Have you ever asked yourself who Jun Pala was since his name started cropping up during election campaign and in the EJK probe in the senate?

Lawyer Ahmedy Paglinawan talks about how Jun Pala would sow terror in his heart as child and to many other children in the Davao province.

A reporter is the last thing Jun Pala was. He was the leader of the mass-murdering Alsa Masa vigilante group, whose abuses in Davao Province is now part of Cory Aquino’s legacy to this nation’s sorry history.

During his time, Jun Pala salvaged, kidnapped, blackmailed and harassed everyone. Including women and children. The banner for every atrocity: “Wag pamarisan. NPA ako.”

And he reigned that way for all of my childhood. Children wondered if their parents and relatives would still come home after work because Jun Pala could kill them, regardless of who or what they were, anytime he liked.

I hated that man. I knew many who died because of Pala and his Alsa Masa. I and a hundred thousand other children wanted him dead. For what it is worth, Lascanas is a liar. He did not kill Jun Pala. We did. No one will pay even 5 centavos to get Pala erased. But everyone would do it for free. And gladly too.

Pala’s death was a long-time coming. But it was welcome. It was a relief. It was vindication. We have killed him at last.

Jun Pala deserved to die sooner than he did. And change is happening now because WE killed him. Before he had the chance to kill us all. And I am very glad for it.

Oh and by the way, in his spare time –when he was not murdering farmers– Jun Pala liked to taunt and leer at the entire Davao Province, in full battle gear with guns, grenades and goons, from the comfort of the sound-proof announcer’s booth: Doing Propaganda for the Alsa Masa.

Omar Bantayan walks us through his traumatic childhood at the time when Jun Pala’s reign of terror was unchallenged.

Jun Pala?

I don’t care who killed him! I am just glad that in one way or another, the universe rendered us some form of justice.

As a kid, the mere mention of his name would send shivers down my spine. He was a symbol of how dangerous the times we have lived then. I was ten years old when my father died a violent death. Jun Pala brazenly hinted that he was “in the know” and was an active participant in the murder of my father, Ka Oca, who was then a labor leader of Kilusang Mayo Uno – KMU and the National Federation of Labor.

A couple of hours before my father was ambushed on October 10, 1988, Pala played my father’s favorite song over the radio. Pala then bragged that it was his way of saying goodbye and threw notions into the air that he knew something bad will happen before it happened.

During my father’s wake, Pala threatened workers, unions and progressive organizations that his Ex-Cathedra Venganza and Alsa Masa will do something violent at the funeral parlor where my father’s remains were lying in repose.

Culturally, Filipinos would avoid saying anything to malign someone who just died. But Pala, vile to the bones, went on full blast, attacked my father’s person and justified my father’s death. My uncle, Jing Bantayan, whose voice resembles that of my father’s, called Pala on the phone and pretended that he was Oca to scare Pala off, a ploy which worked for a couple of days.

Some years later, unwittingly, I followed Ka Oca’s footsteps. I became KMU’s regional leader and just like what happened to my papa, Pala wasted air time to malign, red-bait and accuse me of being a communist — making me and others fair game. My mama, who had to endure all the trauma when she lost her husband, asked me why am I making her go through all of the terror again by taking on a job that my father used to hold.

Pala was a crook who hid behind the microphone. Pala was a criminal who used his media ID to extort local businesses. Pala incited violence pretending that he was in pursuit of the truth. As a kid, Pala to me was evil incarnate. As a labor activist, he was a reminder that my daughter, just like me, could lose her father too.

EJKs, salvagings, however, you would call these dastardly acts could not be justified — there is just no way to do it. But, frankly, when radio frequencies all over Davao first reported his death, I felt like Davao became a tad safer. To say that I was happy that morning would be a big understatement.

Life is precious but Pala was a scum of the earth and I would be a hypocrite if I would say I felt bad about the death of someone who laughed at my father’s grave. So, do I know who killed him? NO! But, whoever you may be, let me thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Netizen Stella Estremera walks us down memory lane when she was 22 years old, threatened with death over the radio by Jun Pala.

Do you know how it feels to be threatened to be dumped dead in Davao River by a radio announcer on air? Do you know how a mother would feel when she hears her daughter being threatened to be dumped dead in Davao River by a radio announcer in his radio program? That was me being threatened over and over again by Jun Porras Pala when I was just 22 years old.

Do you know how it feels when a radio announcer guffaws on air over the death of your best friend? Do you know how it feels when a radio announcer chides the death of your best friend as the karma that befalls anyone who stands up to him? This was me after my best friend died of cancer when I was in my 30s.

I am but one of many … I leave this to you to fill in the blank.

Your thoughts please!

Source: Stella Estremera, Omar C. Bantayan, Ahmedy Paglinawan


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