Tag Archives: Palparan

[Statement] Sentro hails arrest of Palparan, calls for no ‘VIP treatment’ and swift conviction -SENTRO

Sentro hails arrest of Palparan, calls for no ‘VIP treatment’ and swift conviction

The Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa eagerly welcomes the capture early this morning of fugitive retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan; but expresses at the same time apprehension that he will also be accorded VIP treatment in a “special jail” – like Janet Lim-Napoles and her “pork barrel senators” – and the lawsuits against him will drag on for years – like what happened to the Marcoses, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Ampatuans, and their ilk.

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Dubbed “the butcher,” Palparan left a bloody and terrifying trail of murders and abductions of social activists wherever he was assigned an army command – from Mindoro, Romblon, Samar to Central Luzon provinces. Like a Grim Reaper, his mere presence in an area was a portent of increased number of extrajudicial killings or “salvaging,” forced disappearances of perceived anti-government individuals, and active harassment of mass organizations. Still, Arroyo lavishly praised Palparan for his “successful” counterinsurgency campaigns from 2001 to 2006, when he retired. He went into hiding in December 2011 when a court ordered his arrest because of the 2006 kidnapping in Bulacan of two UP students, Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño, who both remain missing.

Of course, no direct evidence was ever gathered and not a single witness has yet surfaced to implicate Palparan as the mastermind behind these heinous crimes. This is understandable since Palparan and his gang – not unlike the liquidation crew of gangsters and secret military assassination units during martial law – will ensure at all costs that incriminating proofs will be eliminated and would-be whistleblowers will be bribed or terrorized or “silenced” outright. However, an investigation of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) admitted that there was “certainly (circumstantial) evidence pointing the finger of suspicion at some elements and personalities in the armed forces, in particular General Palparan, as responsible for an undetermined number of killings, by allowing, tolerating, and even encouraging the killings.”

Sentro calls on the Aquino government and the judiciary to ensure that Palparan and his cohorts should be immediately imprisoned in regular jails and not be given special treatment. They should be tried and convicted promptly so that justice will finally be served to their victims and the latter’s families.

The government should likewise vigorously work to end the impunity of violence against the people and their organizations; this includes the speedy resolution of abductions and murders of trade unionists and activists, including two Mindanao leaders of the National Confederation of Transportworkers’ Unions (NCTU-APL-SENTRO) – Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin and Kagi Alimudin Lucman – who were slain within the span of one month (July) only last year in Davao City and Cotabato City, respectively.

Source: www.sentro.org

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[In the news] Human rights advocate wants Palparan arrested -SunStar.com.ph

Human rights advocate wants Palparan arrested
By Ivy C. Tejano
December 19, 2012

sunstar-network copyA HUMAN rights advocate urged President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday to make true his promise to hold soldiers accountable for human rights violation.

In a letter emailed to Sun.Star Davao, Brad Adams, Asia director of the Human Rights Watch, said the call is in line with the first anniversary of the issuance of warrant of arrest against retired Army general Jovito Palparan Jr.

Palparan was earlier charged with kidnapping and serious illegal detention before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 14 in Bulacan. He is included in the “Big Five” most wanted men in the country with a P2-million reward for his arrest.

The court issued the warrant of arrest against him on December 19, 2011, after he was accused in the 2006 kidnapping of University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño, who were allegedly tortured and have not been found.

Adams said it was a year ago when the court issued a warrant of arrest against the accused but until now, authorities have yet to arrest Palparan.

“Along with the families of the victims, we are disappointed that Palparan remains at large in spite of the efforts of the Department of Justice and the police to find him,” Adams said.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

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[In the news] Philippine human rights groups turn to citizens to help find fugitive ex-military general, others -mindanaoexaminer.com

Philippine human rights groups turn to citizens to help find fugitive ex-military general, others
mindanaoexaminer.com
April 04, 2012

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Apr. 4, 2012) – Filipino human rights groups have asked the support of the public to help find a former army general accused of extrajudicial killings of political activists in the Philippines.

The human rights organizations Karapatan, Hustisya and Desaparecidos have asked those commuting to the provinces to help find fugitive Jovito Palparan Jr. in places where they are spending the Lenten Season.

Relatives of the victims of human rights violations and members of the three organizations went to several bus stations in Quezon City to distribute “Wanted Palparan” flyers.

The action was part of the so-called “People’s Manhunt” on the former major general that was launched three months ago when the Malolos Regional Trial Court issued a warrant of arrest against Palparan.

“The Aquino government should show grit, consistency and seriousness in arresting criminals and human rights violators such as Palparan and his co-accused Master Sergeant Rizal Hilario. The delay in their arrests puts across the message that government and military officials are being exempted from arrest under Aquino.”

Read full article @ www.mindanaoexaminer.com

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[Statement] PHILIPPINES: The importance of arresting retired general Jovito Palparan Jr. -AHRC

A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission

PHILIPPINES: The importance of arresting retired general Jovito Palparan Jr.

In the streets of Metro Manila, it is common to see photographs or posters of missing persons posted on walls and electricity poles, with details of the missing person and how to contact the relatives looking for them. These families have taken it upon themselves to look for their loved ones, in the absence of any help from the government.

What is not common however, is the poster of Jovito Palparan Jr., a retired military general, also posted widely on public walls in Manila. He is not a missing person, but a person who went into hiding after the court issued arrest orders against him, to answer allegations of his and his men’s involvement in the disappearance of two activists, Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno in 2006 (See Story No. 86 for details). The inability of the government to arrest him is not surprising; in fact, him being actually arrested would be more of a surprise. (photo: Jovito Palparan’s wanted poster in streets of Manila)

Failure to arrest persons subject to court arrest orders is not unique to Palparan. The failure or inability to arrest is unfortunately a norm more than an exception throughout the Philippines. Even ordinary criminals or escapees from jail can in fact roam freely. Unless they make trouble again, or they apply for employment requiring police clearance, they are not likely to be arrested. Under such circumstances, how can society expect Palparan to be arrested?

Firstly, Palparan is not an ordinary man. Before he retired from the military, he commanded military units and was assigned to various different regions. His military accomplishments–regardless of whether they conform to the articles of war and human rights norms, which the military establishment claim to adhere to–are publicly endorsed and recognized by his former commander-in-chief, former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Secondly, Palparan is well known to the government. All of his personal and military records are well documented by the Armed Forces, not only as a military officer, but also as a civil servant subject to civil service laws. In performing his duty in the military, he is subject to both administrative and criminal proceedings. As a known military general well endorsed publicly by the former president, it is hard to imagine that the government, particularly the military establishment, does not know where Palparan is.

Thirdly, Palparan’s military career and achievements was strongly endorsed during Arroyo’s presidency. In other words, Arroyo consented to Palparan’s actions and his rhetoric justifying the fight against counter-insurgency and protecting the rights of only those people he considered as ‘humans’. Now that Arroyo herself is under hospital arrest and being prosecuted for election fraud however, where does Palparan’s support lie?

Despite the change in leadership and government knowledge regarding Palparan, there are today posters put up in search for him. This is a clear indicator that the assumption that any police or military officer who committed violations during Arroyo’s time could be held accountable once the leadership is changed, is deeply flawed. The dominant thinking that change of leadership is prerequisite to accountability for gross human rights violations has been flawed for many years; this did not happen in the present Aquino term, nor did it occur in the regime of Corazon Aquino after Marcos, or in Gloria Arroyo’s regime after Estrada.

Rather, it is clear that those accused of crimes, regardless of whether they are government civil servants, policemen or military officers, have developed sophisticated methods of escaping from accountability. At the same time, the relatives and victims of human rights violations are also developing creative means to deal with this absence of accountability; the distribution of Palparan’s poster being one such method.

Escaping arrest for instance, is not a special skill unique to Palparan. Needless to say, the current Philippine Senator Panfilo Lacson himself had gone into hiding and absconded from his responsibility as a lawmaker to evade the very jurisdiction of law he was mandated by the people to uphold. In his defence, he also claimed innocence of the murder charges against him for the assassination of the former publicist of President Estrada. After the court dismissed the charges, he surfaced bragging about his exploits while in hiding.

Like Palparan, Lacson is also a ‘decorated police officer.’ He had been accused for committing torture and human rights violations during his career as a police officer before joining the Senate. The difference is that the charges on Lacson were dismissed, while Palparan’s charges had just begun. In the Philippines, jurisprudence says that flight is an indication of guilt; Lacson can now afford to show up in public, while Palparan cannot. However, there is one thing that these individuals have in common: the capacity to hide from the law using their connections with the police and military.

The spread of posters of Palparan in the streets of Manila, initiated by Karapatan and the families of the victims who took responsibility in asking to locate him, demonstrates an utter state of impunity that continues to thrive in the country. In the case of Palparan and his men involved in forced disappearance, even the Department of Justice and its attached special investigation unit, the National Bureau of Investigation, have openly admitted being unable to arrest them, despite their resources and intelligence network all over the country. While the government may be willing to arrest Palparan, it seems its willingness does not match its ability.

The failure and inability of the government to arrest Palparan should therefore be examined thoroughly by the country’s justice institutions to address unresolved cases and the ongoing impunity of past regimes. The skills and habits to evade accountability developed by the offenders of the law, particularly the security forces expected to uphold the law, must first be learned and understood. No reform can be made possible without this knowledge. This is not only about arresting Palparan or him evading prosecution, but rather narrating the state of justice institutions that exist in the country.
Read this statement online

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHRC-STM-075-2012
March 30, 2012

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[Press Release] P-Noy continues to skirt the issue of Human Rights -KARAPATAN

P-Noy continues to skirt the issue of Human Rights

“It has been three months since the fugitive general, Jovito Palparan Jr., was issued a warrant of arrest by the Malolos Trial Court for the disappearance of UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño yet he remains in hiding with neither a word nor two from the P-Noy government on his whereabouts. We now tend to believe that the warrant of arrest issued to Palparan was just for show,” said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of Karapatan.

Hilao-Enriquez added that, “until today, P-Noy continues to hide behind his so-called campaign against corruption to skirt the issue of human rights, along with other people’s issues such as the continuous rise of fuel prices and basic commodities.” Hilao-Enriquez’s statement was in reaction to P-Noy’s speech yesterday before the graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). “While we are for good government, P-Noy could also have exhorted the new graduates to make sure that they don’t end up like Palparan but he continues to  avoid talking about human rights because his own Oplan Bayanihan pursues the same crooked path and generates  the same impact on the people as Gloria Arroyo’s bloody Oplan Bantay Laya.” said Hilao-Enriquez.

Karapatan also chided the statement of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin that the new PMA graduates will join a “cleaner” AFP. Hilao-Enriquez said, “How can the AFP be ‘clean’ when people like Palparan, whose hands bear blood of people killed in the name of national security, remain unpunished?”

Hilao-Enriquez called on the P-Noy government to “stop showing off and get real” on the issue of human rights. “What good is it that Palparan was issued a warrant of arrest when he remains scot-free? What good is it that GMA was ‘arrested’ but stays in an air-conditioned room in a hospital with the government at a loss on what to do to her? And what good is it to the Filipino people that P-Noy vowed to be the exact opposite of GMA yet sows the same terror and blazes the same bloody path through his Oplan Bayanihan?”

[In the news] ‘Another reason to find Palparan’ -INQUIRER.net

‘Another reason to find Palparan’.

By Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon
March 4, 2012

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The wife of missing environmental activist and radio host Joey Estriber has urged the government to find Jovito Palparan and make the fugitive retired major general reveal what he knows about the abduction of her husband.

Lourdes Estriber, who marked the sixth anniversary of her husband’s disappearance on Saturday, said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should compel  Palparan to divulge information because he was commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division based in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, when four armed men  seized her husband just as he stepped out of an Internet shop in Baler, Aurora, on March 3, 2006.

“We want to know who seized him and where they brought, dumped or buried his body. I hope the top brass of the AFP would help us by releasing information and help us get justice for Joey, and closure for us his family and friends,” Estriber told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone from Baler on Saturday.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

[Press Release] Philippines: Efforts to Improve Rights Fall Far Short – HRW

Philippines: Efforts to Improve Rights Fall Far Short
Abusive Paramilitaries, Extrajudicial Killings Persist

 (New York, January 23, 2012) – The Philippine government should disable abusive paramilitary forces and take concrete steps to hold those responsible for killings and other rights violations to account, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2012.

The administration of President Benigno Aquino III has not fulfilled its promises of reform and made little progress in ending impunity for abuses by state security forces, Human Rights Watch said. Extrajudicial killings and torture of leftist activists, alleged communist rebels, and accused criminals continue, but the government has failed to acknowledge and address involvement in these crimes by the security forces and local officials.

“After a year and a half in office, President Aquino should be delivering on his promise to end impunity for rights abuses,” said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “His administration will ultimately be measured by what it achieves, not by his stated intentions.”

In its 676-page report, Human Rights Watch assessed progress on human rights during the past year in more than 90 countries, including popular uprisings in the Arab world that few would have imagined. Given the violent forces resisting the “Arab Spring,” the international community has an important role to play in assisting the birth of rights-respecting democracies in the region, Human Rights Watch said in the report.

In December, after the report went to print, a court in Bulacan province issued an arrest warrant against retired army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan and other officers and soldiers for the enforced disappearance of two student activists in 2006. Palparan is the highest-ranking military officer to be charged for human rights abuses since the ouster of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. He is implicated in the abduction, torture, and killing of dozens of leftist activists in the Philippines.

The Justice Department has put up a one million peso (US$23,000) bounty for information leading to the capture of Palparan, who is in hiding. While the Justice and Interior departments have formed a “tracker team” to hunt down the fugitive general, Aquino should order the police and military to do more to arrest him, Human Rights Watch said.

Despite this unprecedented development, unlawful killings continue and the government should do more to hold those responsible to account, Human Rights Watch said. Human Rights Watch has documented at least seven extrajudicial killings and three enforced disappearances for which there is strong evidence of military involvement since Aquino took office in June 2010.

Hundreds of leftist politicians and political activists, journalists, and outspoken clergy have been killed or abducted since 2001, Human Rights Watch said. The government has largely failed to prosecute military personnel implicated in such killings, even though strong evidence exists in many cases. Only seven cases of extrajudicial killings from the past decade have been successfully prosecuted, none of which were in 2011, or involved active duty military personnel. Even in the Palparan case, it was the victims’ family – not the government – who initiated the criminal case.

The police and military were implicated in numerous incidents of torture in 2011. While several investigations are ongoing, the rigor of investigations varies and no one has been convicted under the 2009 Anti-Torture Act. In July, soldiers allegedly stripped naked, sexually assaulted, and set on fire a 39-year-old baker, Abdul-Khan Balinting Ajid, in Basilan. While the military says several soldiers involved have been restricted to barracks in Manila, no criminal charges have been filed.

“The arrest and prosecution of Palparan would be the most significant move against impunity for military abuses in the last decade,” Pearson said. “But the government should be more proactive in investigating killings and torture, arresting suspects, and vigorously prosecuting them.”

Aquino has defended the use of poorly trained and abusive paramilitary forces to fight communist insurgents and Islamist armed groups in 2011, Human Rights Watch said. Despite campaign promises to dismantle “private armies” of politicians and wealthy landowners, which have long been responsible for serious abuses, Aquino has not revoked Executive Order 546, which local officials cite to justify arming their personal forces. In October, Aquino announced the deployment of additional paramilitary personnel to provide security to mining companies.

Members of the powerful Ampatuan clan, military, police, and paramilitary personnel, among other suspects, are on trial for the massacre of 58 people, including more than 30 journalists, in Maguindanao province on the southern island of Mindanao, in November 2009. Two years later, the trial is ongoing, albeit snail-paced, with witnesses for the prosecution, including families of the victims, testifying.

In addition to abuses by government forces, the communist New People’s Army (NPA) has unlawfully killed and detained civilians and extorted “taxes” from individuals and businesses, Human Rights Watch said. NPA leaders have often sought to justify targeted killings by asserting that those killed had earlier been condemned by NPA-organized “people’s courts” for “crimes against the people.” Then-UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Philip Alston, concluded that the NPA’s court system “is either deeply flawed or simply a sham.”

In 2011, the Philippine army fabricated stories that several children taken into military custody were NPA rebels. In several cases investigated by Human Rights Watch, the army paraded the children in front of the media, publicly branding them rebels despite conclusive contrary evidence. In two of the cases, the army detained the children for several days.

“It beggars belief why two years after the Maguindanao massacre, Aquino still has not dismantled the country’s paramilitary forces,” Pearson said. “Both government forces and armed rebels should ensure compliance with the laws of war and protect ordinary civilians, who bear the brunt of the conflict.”

To read Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2012 chapter on the Philippines, please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/philippines

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on the Philippines, please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/asia/-philippines

For more information, please contact:
In Manila, Carlos Conde (Tagalog, English): +63-917-545-5492 (mobile); or condec@hrw.org
In Washington, DC, Jessica Evans (English): +1-917-930-7763 (mobile); or evansj@hrw.org
In New York, Elaine Pearson (English): +1-646-291-7169 (mobile) or pearsoe@hrw.org
In London, Brad Adams (English): +44-7908-728-333 (mobile); or adamsb@hrw.org

[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.

DEMAND FULL DISCLOSURE IN THE IMPEACHMENT.
BREAK IMPUNITY. TURN IN PALPARAN

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

[In the news] Fugitive Palparan sighted in Negros – SunStar.com.ph

Fugitive Palparan sighted in Negros
SunStar.com.ph
January 19, 2012

 HUMAN rights organization Karapatan claimed Wednesday that the fugitive retired army general Jovito Palparan is somewhere in northern Negros Occidental.

Karapatan Negros secretary general Fred Caña made the revelation after their human rights network in northern Negros Occidental relayed sightings of Palparan in the first district of the province, particularly in San Carlos City.

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Caña said that the fugitive general was reported to have been sighted in a property of a politician from the said district. He added, however, that their informant said that Palparan did not stay long in the said area.

Caña said that, although their allied organizations could not confirm the veracity of the information, the sighting could not be farfetched.

He said that senators Gringo Honasan and Panfilo Lacson, who were once fugitives like Palparan, were also sighted hiding in the first district of the province.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Palparan must surrender if he’s innocent – Palace – PhilStar.com

Palparan must surrender if he’s innocent – Palace
By Aurea Calica and Edith Regalado, The Philippine Star
January 15, 2012 12:00

 MANILA, Philippines – Fugitive retired Army Maj. Jovito Palparan must surrender now and defend himself before the courts if he is really innocent of the charges against him, Malacañang said yesterday.

“If he really thinks he is innocent, he should come out and face the charges against him,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over dzRB.

The Palace was reacting to Palparan’s appealing the decision of the Malolos regional trial court to junk his bid to stop his prosecution for the disappearance of University of the Philippines student activists Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño in 2006. Valte said Palparan is assured of fair trial.

Read full article @ www.philstar.com

[In the news] Palparan won’t surrender, says lawyer –

Palparan won’t surrender, says lawyer
by Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon.com
January 13, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines — Fugitive retired general Jovito Palaran will not surrender and will continue challenging the warrant for his arrest, one of his lawyers said Friday.

Palparan’s newly hired counsel, Jesus Santos, insisted his client is “innocent” of the abduction and enforced disappearance of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan.

Santos was the lawyer of Jose Miguel Arroyo, husband of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

He said the government would be better off using the P1 million reward it has raised for Palparan’s capture for assisting the families of soldiers killed in the line of duty.

Short of advising his client to remain in hiding, Santos said that, “as a lawyer and as an individual, since there is a petition we filed in court to conduct the preliminary investigation because the arrest warrant was issued not in accordance with law, I think it is good to wait for whatever maybe the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan,” where the case against Palparan has been filed.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

[Press Release] Get Palparan and Render Justice to Other EJK Victims: Time to Review Melo and Alston Report – KPD

 Retired Major General Jovito Palparan has made the headlines once again. Though earlier suspected in having a direct hand in the Cadapan-Empeño case, it was only last December 15 that he has been finally charged with kidnapping and serious illegal detention of the two UP students who were abducted last June 26, 2006.

His deep-seated contempt for legal procedure and the rule of law is again shown by his refusal to subject himself to the on-going court proceedings. His apologists are asking for a fair trial for him. But how can he have a fair trial when he refuses to surrender?

Palparan’s career in the military is marked with shortcuts in “cleansing” the society of suspected leftist elements. He earned the moniker of ‘the butcher’ after leaving a trail of illegal arrests, torture and extrajudicial killings during the gradual constriction campaign in Central Luzon in the late 80’s, his stint as commander in Mindoro (2001-2003) of the 204th Brigade and as a Vice-Division Commander of the 8th Infantry Division based in Samar (February-August 2005).

Better late than never, the DOJ’s filing of charges against Palparan in the Cadapan-Empeño case is most welcome, but it simply created a mere “pin hole” in the wall of impunity. He is suspected to be involved in more than seven hundred cases of extra-judicial killings, disappearances and abductions, many of which happened while he was the
top dog of the Northern Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

His performance in the Northern Luzon Command best exemplified the state policy of Arroyo’s counter-insurgency campaign. While taking the lead, other human rights violations happened in other parts of the country like in Isabela, Compostela Valley and Southern Tagalog. For a job well done, he was even praised by Arroyo during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in 2006.

Sadly, Palparan is not an aberration.

He was a “distinguished” officer of a military establishment, which has gained notoriety for its poor record of respecting and upholding human rights. The others—less visible, still in active service under different state security branches— should be held accountable for
their hand in the state-sponsored killings. The climate of impunity, of utter disregard for the rule of law and common decency, is with us to date. And these butchers-in-uniform likewise deserve to be brought to the bar justice.

From a mere pin hole to outright dismantling of the wall of impunity, now is the opportune time to go back to the 2006 Melo Commission Report as well as the 2007 Report made by Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, arbitrary, summary executions. Even back then, he has been pin-pointed as culpable in the spate of extra-judicial executions of progressives and activists.

Pnoy’s zealousness and contagious passion to go after corruption inside the military establishment and in the government in general, in digging deep into the electoral fraud created by Arroyo and instituting reforms in the judicial system is nowhere felt with
regards to human rights violations. Unable to start the wheel of justice for the past victims of human rights violations, the military under his government continues to violate human rights. After two years, his Presidential Commission on Human Rights is still far away
from coming up with a human rights plan.

Dangling a million peso reward for the capture of Palparan is not enough.

This administration’s commitment to end impunity will immediately be measured in its ability to marshal its resources, the police and other law-enforcement personnel in capturing Palparan. PNnoy has proven himself when his allies in the House filed the impeachment case against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. Maybe, it is time
to look for Palparan inside the military camps.

The resolution of Palparan’s case will be a litmus test for Pnoy in his avowed adherence for human rights and democracy. And so with the other victims of human rights violations.The victims and relatives deserve no less.

PRESS STATEMENT
January 11, 2012
Reference: Chester Amparo, Secretary General, KPD 0922 954 6038

[In the news] Palparan sightings reported, says de Lima – ABS-CBN News

Palparan sightings reported, says de Lima
By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News
January 02, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines – There have been sightings of retired Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan who faces charges for the disappearance of University of the Philippines(UP) student activists Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno in June 2006, bared Justice Secretary Leila De Lima.

The justice chief, however, refused to give details to the media so as not to jeopardize ongoing manhunt operations against Palparan and his trusted aide and co-accused, M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario.

“May info(information) na nire-relay sa amin, nire-relay sa akin, so what I do [is] ask the NBI(National Bureau of Investigation) to validate the info,” De Lima said.

Palparan and Hilario have refused to surrender following the issuance of warrants for their arrest by Judge Teodora Gonzales of Bulacan Regional Trial Court Branch 14 who handles the case for kidnapping with serious illegal detention against Palparan, Hilario, Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado, Jr., and S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/01/02/12/palparan-sightings-reported-says-de-lima

[In the news] Palparan will likely do a Lacson, his lawyer says – www.interaksyon.com

Palparan will likely do a Lacson, his lawyer says
Andrea Bautista, News5
December 29, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – The lawyer of Jovito Palparan on Thursday denied reports that the retired Army major general sent surrender feelers to authorities.

“Para sa akin, knowing him as a principled man, walang katotohanan ‘yan [surrender feelers],” said Atty. Narzal Mallares.

[For me, knowing him as a principled man, there is no truth to that.]

News reports earlier quoted Philippine National Police Director General Nicanor Bartolome as saying that authorities had received surrender feelers from Palparan.

Palparan is wanted for his alleged role in the 2006 kidnapping and serious illegal detention of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan.

Mallares said his client would likely do what Panfilo Lacson did after a Manila court in 2010 ordered the senator’s arrest for his alleged role in the killings of publicist Salvador Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.

Claiming that he was being politically persecuted, Lacson evaded arrest by going abroad.

“Parang hindi prosecution eh parang persecution…Kita niyo nga ho mga pronouncement, kahit Malacanang pinalalabas nila na sa ngayon pa lang may kasalanan na si General Palparan. Hindi ho dapat ganoon dahil nasa korte na po,” said Mallares.

[It’s not like prosecution but persecution. Look at the pronouncements, even Malacanang is making it appear that General Palparan is guilty. It shouldn’t be like that because the ball is now in the court.]

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

[In the news] Palparan draws support from generals – INQUIRER.net

Palparan draws support from generals
Retired generals hit trial by publicity
By Dona Z. Pazzibugan, Norman Bordadora, TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Fugitive retired Army Major General Jovito Palparan Jr. has finally found succor and comfort from among his own.

The organization of the country’s past and present military and police generals has called for a halt to the “undue trial by publicity” of Palparan who carries a P500,000 bounty on his head, even as they urged him to face the kidnapping charges for the 2006 disappearance of two University of the Philippines student activists.

The Association of General and Flag Officers Inc. (Agfo) on Wednesday denounced Palparan’s projection in the media as a “serial murderer” when he has neither been tried nor convicted by a court.

“We are disturbed by the exploitation of the case of General Palparan, who has not yet been convicted by any court of law, and his projection as a serial murderer, a “berdugo” based on pieces of evidence that are yet to be scrutinized in due process by the court,” said retired Lieutenant General Raul Urgello, a former Army commanding general and Agfo chairman and president, in a statement.

“We believe that he must face the charges against him and equally in his right to be tried fairly based on facts and circumstances devoid of any political or ideological insinuations,” Urgello said.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

[In the news] UP students’ parents nix transfer of kidnap suspects – abs-cbnNEWS.com

UP students’ parents nix transfer of kidnap suspects
abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines – The mothers of missing University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan will oppose in court the transfer of 2 military officers from the Bulacan provincial jail to Fort Bonifacio.

The court had allowed the transfer of Lt. Col. Delipe Anotado and Staff Sgt. Edgardo Osorio due to security threats.

They are accused of kidnapping the 2 students in 2006.

The complainants’ lawyer, Ed Olalia, said they were not informed of the transfer.

“The funny thing is we just learned about this transfer through the media reports and the media reports say that the motion was heard last Friday
which was December 23 and the transfer was immediately effected on the very same day obviously in preparation for Christmas on Sunday,” he said.

Read full article @ www.abs-cbnnews.com

[in the news] ‘Butcher’ hunted by AFP – INQUIRER.net

‘Butcher’ hunted by AFP.

Palparan must confront charges, says De Lima
By Philip C. Tubeza, TJ Burgonio, Tonette Orejas
Inquirer Central Luzon, Philippine Daily Inquirer

  CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—A fugitive from the law for the past six days, retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. is besieged on many fronts.

The National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police are after Palparan to make him and three others stand trial for the kidnapping of two University of the Philippines students in Hagonoy, Bulacan, in June 2006.

Now, even the Armed Forces of the Philippines is helping hunt the man tagged by activist groups as “Berdugo” (Butcher), for the scores of activists and ordinary citizens killed, abducted and injured during his tour of duty.

“We will try our very best to help arrest him in support of the PNP,” Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa, the AFP chief of staff, said in a phone interview from Davao City on Friday.

Asked to confirm if the military was helping track down Palparan, Dellosa said: “Since he is a fugitive, he can be arrested. We can assist the PNP through the joint peace and security coordinating center.”

Dellosa also said the military had complied with the request of the Department of Justice to be on the lookout for the fugitive and to prevent him from leaving the country. “So far, we’ve published lookout bulletins,” he said.

On Dec. 19, warrants for the arrest of Palparan and three others were issued by Bulacan Regional Trial Court Judge Teodora Gonzales in connection with the 2006 kidnapping of UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño.

The AFP provost marshal had helped arrest two of the coaccused, Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado and S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio. Both active in the service, the two were remanded to police custody in Camp Crame on Dec. 20.

M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario, the third coaccused, is at large like Palparan.

Hilario is said to be Palparan’s right-hand man. He used a number of aliases, former Bulacan Gov. Josefina de la Cruz said in an interview after five residents of San Jose del Monte City went missing in 2005.

Palparan had earlier said he should not be charged with kidnapping because he was not a private person but an Army commander when Cadapan and Empeño went missing. He retired as commander of the 7th Infantry Division in Central Luzon in September 2006.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

[In the news] Palparan: De Lima messes my case- www.philstar.com

Palparan: De Lima messes my case
By Jun Pasaylo The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Former Army general Jovito Palparan Jr., known to his antagonists as “The Butcher”, admitted he went into hiding as he believed that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was “messing up” with his case.

In a radio report, Palparan said he went into hiding after immigration authorities deplaned him from a Singapore-bound flight at Diosdado Macapagal International Airport last Monday.

“Yes, I am missing because she (De Lima) is messing up with my case,” the report quoted the former military official, believing that he won’t get a fair trial under the Aquino administration.

He also bewailed the kidnapping charges against him, saying “Ang kidnapping is a charge against private individual o grupo na pribado, hindi taong-gobyerno. Kung taong-gobyerno, arbitrary detention,” he added.

Read full article @ www.philstar.com

[In the news] ‘Stop threatening judge,’ lawyer of missing UP students tells Palparan- InterAksyon.com

‘Stop threatening judge,’ lawyer of missing UP students tells Palparan
by Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon.com

MANILA, Philippines — The lawyer of missing University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Kadapan and Karen Empno on Wednesday told retired Army general General Jovito Palaparan, who is accused of their abduction and disappearance, to stop threatening the judge who issued a warrant for his arrest and just give himself up.

Edre Olalia, secretary General of the National Union of People’s Lawyers, said it is time for Palparan to “face the music” for all the human rights violations he allegedly committed while he was in the service.

“He must give himself up now and stop being a coward and heartless creature that he really is,” Olalia said.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

[In the news] US embassy cables tagged Palparan on killings – abs-cbnNEWS.com

US embassy cables tagged Palparan on killings
by Jojo Malig, abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines – Retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, who has been ordered indicted by the Department of Justice (DOJ), was mentioned in more than a dozen US embassy cables that tackled extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.

The cables, some labeled confidential, have been published by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

US embassy cable 07MANILA468 sent purportedly in the name of then US ambassador Kristie Kenney, said the head of a special commission that looked into the killings met with Palparan and then Armed Forces chief of staff General Hermogenes Esperon to tackle the killings.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Jose Melo said Palparan — who was accused of involvement in abduction and killings of activists — claimed that he could not “control” troops under his command who might engage in such illegal behavior.

“MG Palparan even acknowledged to the Commission that he ‘might have encouraged’ such killings, but claimed that those were the ‘individual responsibility’ of whoever committed the killings,” the cable said.

Read full article @ www.abs-cbnnews.com

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