Who is Ely Pamatong?
MANILA, Philippines—Is he a nuisance or just a man with good intentions but uncanny ways of carrying them out?
Lawyer Ely Pamatong was arrested Wednesday night as he was tagged as the brains behind the foiled bombing attempt of three members of ultra-rightist group USA Freedom Fighters of the East (Usaffe) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 3 Monday. But aside from being the top man of USAFFE, Pamatong could also be considered as a colorful figure in Philippine politics.
1. Pamatong founded Usaffe in 2003 to fight communist insurgency in Mindanao
Pamatong is a practicing lawyer and claims that he obtained a 92% score in the American bar exam and graduated from the University of the Philippines (UP) and Silliman University. He also said that while in UP, no one beat him in debates.
Pamatong said that he founded the Usaffe as “an anti-communist paramilitary organization” to combat the communist New People’s Army in Mindanao.
2. Ely Pamatong sought the presidency twice and ran as Pampanga governor.
Claiming that he has the intellect to rule the country, he ran for president in 2004 and 2010. The Commission on Election, however, shot down his bids to the presidency and considered him as a nuisance candidate.
In 2007, he ran and lost as governor of Pampanga in a four-way fight among Mark Lapid, Lilia Pineda, Ed Panlilio and him.
As a result of being declared as a nuisance candidate in the 2004 presidential elections, Pamatong ordered his supporters to sprinkle metal spikes in EDSA which damaged 100 vehicles. He also handcuffed himself in the Comelec office as a result of his disqualification.
4. He filed cases against Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales in 2008 for allegedly committing human rights violations and corruption.
In 2008, Pamatong sued Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Cardinal Rosales for “alleged disturbance of public order, swindling and teaching immoral doctrines.” The lawyer said that the Church “[has] been arrogantly, oppressively and offensively mounting loudspeakers on church rooftops, towers, belfries and trees that are blaring with monotonous false dogmas and doctrines.”
5. In 2010, he was jailed for contempt after accusing Comelec commissioners as “thieves”.
Pamatong was charged with contempt in 2010 for interrupting the promulgation proceedings which was set to announce their decision on the disqualification case he filed against former Presidents Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He alleged that Commissioners Nicodemo Ferrer, Lucenito Tagle, and Elias Yusoph accepted P5 million each from other presidential candidates.
6. He is not a fan of Lito Lapid and Manny Pacquiao
Pamatong filed a disqualification case against Senator Lito Lapid and Filipino boxing champion and Sarangani Congressman Manny Pacquiao for being “hardly educated” and “mentally very poor and not prepared to step into the ring of legislation”, respectively.
On March 2010, the Comelec junked Pamatong’s petition to disqualify Lapid and Pacquiao. The Comelec ruled that public officials need not have a high educational attainment.
Sources: Inquirer archives
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