Former progressive lawmaker passes away

Joel Virador (Photo grabbed from Facebook post of Cristina Palabay)

By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Former Bayan Muna Rep. Joel Virador passed away today, May 7 due to a lingering ailment.

Alternative news outfit Kilab Multimedia reported that Virador, who served as Bayan Muna lawmaker from 2004 to 2007, succumbed to thyroid cancer at the Brokenshire Hospital at past noon today.

He was 52.

Virador was among the five lawmakers dubbed as Batasan 5, who sought the protection of the House of Representatives for 70 days, after a rebellion charge was filed against them under then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The charges were later dismissed by a Makati court.

“We are saddened with the passing of one of the stalwarts of Karapatan in Mindanao, former Karapatan Southern Mindanao Secretary General and Bayan Muna Rep. Joel Virador. We vow to continue his sterling record of genuine service and advocacy of people’s rights,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said in a Facebook post.

The late progressive lawmaker was former head of Karapatan-Southern Mindanao. He also served as regional vice chair of Kilusang Mayo Uno – Southern Mindanao.

Read: Batasan 5 Leave House, Hailed as ‘People’s Heroes’

He was also among those who opposed US military intervention in the country and called the public attention to US warships docking in the country.

Read: Progressive congressman wants U.S. warships probed, seized

Former Social Welfare secretary and women’s right advocate Judy Taguiwalo said in her Facebook post that Virador’s death is “heavier than a mountain.”

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