By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY ― The manhunt for Retired Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Major General Jovito Palparan should continue despite his surrender feelers and the surrender of his cohorts said Katribu Party List National President Beverly Longid.
On late Monday afternoon, December 19, a Bulacan Regional Trial Court Judge Teodora Gonzales issued a warrant of arrest for Palparan after the case of kidnapping with serious illegal detention of activists was raffled off to her sala.
Palparan tagged “berdugo” was charged for kidnapping of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan in 2004.
On December 19, Palparan was stopped from boarding a plane bound for Singapore at Clark International Airport by personnel of the Bureau of Immigration.
He had been placed on the immigration’s watch list as ordered by Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
Along with Palparan others charged were M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario, S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio and Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado without bail. As of press time, Palparan and Hilario are at large while Osorio and Antodao surrendered at the office of the Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Manila.
Longid said the arrest order for Palparan who represented the Bantay Party List group in the 14th Congress of the Philippines is a long delayed action of the government.
She added he should be arrested and detained with dispatch. “Government should not also give him any special treatment and privilege,” she further said.
According to Longid, Palparan like his former boss Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should spend Christmas in jail and serve the full extent of the penalty attached to the grave crimes they have committed. She added that the arrest, detention and speedy conviction of “the butcher” is a small gift that President Benigno Aquino III can give to Palparan’s victims this yuletide.
Longid said Aquino should not stop there but to do the same for all other state security agents perpetrating violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. “From the arrest and detention and immediate prosecution of Palparan et. al,” she added.
The Katribu president said that on his assignment in the Cordilleras sometime in 1991-1994, Palparan was responsible for the torture and killings of a number of indigenous peoples.
According to her, he tortured Marcelo Fakilang (deceased) in his own ator (indigenous social center) in Betwagan, Sadanga, Mountain Province with no respect at all for the indigenous socio-political systems and disregarding the respect for a tribal leader.
She added that Palparan is also responsible for the enforced disappearance of Aboli of Dallik, Bontoc of the same province. “Also commanded the paramilitary CAFGU that was responsible for many atrocities against indigenous peoples in the region,” Longid said.
Longid added that the prosecution of current state security agents shall send a clear message that the arrest and detention of an infamous dreaded military officer like Palparan is not just for a show.
She hoped that such would prevent a creation of another butcher who shall rise among the ranks and perpetrate gross human rights violations with impunity.
Longid challenged the sincerity of Aquino to stand by his word to promote human rights. She said Aquino should scrap his Oplan Bayanihan to which she said is no different from the Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and 2 and other counter-insurgency policies of previous governments.
She stressed that it is a policy for human rights and international humanitarian law violations.
Human rights violators such as the hundred soldiers deployed in the Cordillera and other indigenous communities should not be rewarded with medals and promotions. They should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
They should be the ones in jail not the hundred of human rights defenders currently detained all over the country on trumped-up chargesh she ended. # nordis.net