[Statement] Pursue truth in the impeachment; hunt Palparan for justice – PAHRA

Pursue truth in the impeachment; hunt Palparan for justice

 “Kung wala kang tinatago, hindi ka dapat matakot.” / “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.” – A Filipino truism, ironically often quoted by Ex-Major General Jovito Palparan, Jr. This was repeatedly announced during his tour of duty when people whom he suspected as subversives or “enemies of the State” were “invited” into military camps “to clear their names” / “upang linisin ang kanilang pangalan” were hesitant or did not show up at all.

Paradoxically, Palparan, when accused of kidnapping and illegally detaining U.P. students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno, declared his readiness to stand trial and prove his innocence. Palparan has chosen to be a fugitive from the law.

Words similar to Palparan were recently also enunciated by Chief Justice Renato Corona. He had nothing to hide. He had nothing to fear. And Renato Corona’s presence in the opening day of the trial for his impeachment underscored this self-confidence to clear his name.

Technical excuses though on the third day of trial delayed the presentation of the statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) of CJ Corona. It was not a product of pro-active transparency on his part, but an attempt to forestall if not to hide through a legal technicality – a permission from an en banc session of SC justices.

It is the people’s right to demand accountability from every branch of and every official in government, including the officers of the security forces. To obtain truth and justice, the people have the right to demand for full disclosure from those who have chosen to serve. The people must always keep their eyes open to ensure that the collective or collegiate character to serve is not distorted to a conspiracy for corruption and impunity against human rights.


Max M. de Mesa
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
January 20, 2012

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