OHCHR welcomes arrest of Palparan
BANGKOK (13 August 2014) – We welcome the arrest by the Filipino Army of former maj. general Jovito Palparan, which represents an important step towards addressing impunity for serious human rights abuses in the Philippines.
Palparan was arrested this Tuesday after three years in-hiding. He was indicted in 2011 for ordering the torture, rape, and execution of two Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno in 2006. According to reliable sources, Palparan has also been linked to several human rights abuses, including disappearances, torture and extrajudicial killings of leftist activists from 2001 to 2006.
In early 2007, after his official mission to the Philippines, the UN Special Rapporteur on Summary Executions recommended that “as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, the President must take concrete steps to put an end to those aspects of counterinsurgency operations which have led to the targeting and execution of many individuals working with civil society organizations.” We recognise the current efforts of the Aquino administration to follow-up on the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur, and further encourage the Government to take additional steps to strengthen the rule of law and accountability mechanisms.
Ensuring justice in this case will set an important precedent for the Philippines and South East Asia region, where impunity remains an issue of serious concern.
The Regional Office for South-East Asia in Bangkok represents the High Commissioner for Human Rights within South East Asia. The High Commissioner for Human Rights is the principal human rights official of the United Nations and heads the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which spearheads the United Nations’ human rights efforts .
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