Former rebel leader sworn in as House member

Posted at 05/29/14 3:13 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A former commander of the communist hit squad Alex Boncayao Brigade was sworn in as the 290th member of the House of Representatives last night.

Joseph Stephen Paduano represents the party-list group Abang Lingkod.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. administered the oath of office to Paduano, who was known as Lualhati Carapali when he was national commander of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) in the 1980s.

Abang Lingkod received more than 260,000 votes in the 2013 elections, which entitled it to one seat in Congress.

Last year, the Supreme Court (SC) overturned a ruling of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) disqualifying Abang Lingkod.

The SC said Comelec gravely abused its discretion in canceling the registration of Abang Lingkod under the party-list system.

“Its principal advocacy pertains to the special interest and concerns of their sector,” the SC said.