Palparan ordered arrested; no bail set
CITY OF MALOLOS—A Bulacan judge issued a warrant for the arrest of retired Major General Jovito Palparan Jr. late on Monday afternoon, a few hours after the kidnapping with serious illegal detention case against him was raffled off to her court.
Judge Teodora Gonzales of Bulacan Regional Trial Court Branch 14 signed the arrest warrant for Palparan and three other military officers at 4:30 p.m. after she finished evaluating the case documents, Executive Judge Renato Francisco said Tuesday. The case raffle was held at 2 p.m.
Reached on the phone, Palparan said he would not resist arrest. But he said the judge who had issued the arrest warrant should “think again.”
He said his lawyer would file a petition to review the case ordered filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in connection with the kidnapping of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan in June 2006.
Human rights watchdogs in Central Luzon have counted over 700 incidents of human rights violations in the less than two years that Palparan was assigned to the region.
Empeño and Cadapan were taken by armed men from a rented house in Hagonoy, Bulacan province, along with farmer Manuel Merino who had come to their aid.
“I hope they will not implement [the arrest warrant] … [But] I will not resist it,” said Palparan, whom activist groups tag as “Berdugo (Butcher).”
‘She’s the fool’
Palparan tried to fly to Singapore on Monday at Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Pampanga province. But immigration personnel barred him from leaving the country on the instruction of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
On Tuesday, Palparan assailed De Lima for his foiled departure. “Siya nga ang loko (She’s the fool),” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “She issued me this lookout order after the Supreme Court prevented her from issuing more watch-list orders.”
He also said the DOJ had filed an illegal case of kidnapping at the Bulacan court because “kidnapping was not among the charges that were heard at the DOJ, which I attended.”
“Where did they get that case when there was no accusation of that sort against me? The charges filed were torture, rape, which were dismissed because there was no evidence,” he said.
Palparan 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.
“So this is an illegal filing of case. There was no preliminary investigation of the kidnapping case,” he said. “This is an abuse of authority.”
At a press conference on Monday, De Lima noted that Palparan had promised to face all charges against him.
“I guess we cannot trust liars and deceitful persons,” she said.
But Palparan said Tuesday: “Sinong magaling sa deception? Sino ngayon ang sinungaling (Who’s good at deception? Who’s lying now)?”
He said De Lima should not accuse him of trying to run away from the law. “She’s not God for her to know what my plans are. I still have the freedom to take a vacation,” he said.
Last known address
Those charged along with Palparan are Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado Jr., M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario of the 7th Infantry Division based in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, and S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio, who is assigned to the Army’s 24th Intelligence and Security Group in Fort Bonifacio.
According to the complaint, Palparan, then 7th Infantry Division commander, and the others conspired to abduct Cadapan and Empeño from the house of one Raquel Halili in Hagonoy on June 26, 2006.
Judge Gonzales issued separate warrants for the four men and recommended no bail.
In a text message to the Inquirer in Manila, De Lima said she had directed the National Bureau of Investigation to locate and arrest Palparan et al.
She said the arresting team led by Ricardo Diaz, chief of the NBI unit in Central Luzon, had been dispatched to check on Palparan’s last known address on Dado Street, Wild Cat Village in Ususan village, Taguig City.
De Lima said Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo had also directed the Philippine National Police to implement the arrest warrants.
She said she had also sought the assistance of the Armed Forces’ Provost Marshall to “talk to Palparan to convince him not to resist.”
Clerk of Court Melba David said the NBI and the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City, had asked for copies of the warrants.
David said copies were also sent to the PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Bulacan and the Taguig City police in Metro Manila.
In Pampanga, Chief Superintendent Edgardo Ladao, Central Luzon police chief, said that as of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, his office had yet to receive an order from the Bulacan court to help serve and implement the arrest warrants. With a report from Marlon Ramos; Tetch Torres, INQUIRER.net
Originally posted at 10:42 am | Tuesday, December 20, 2011
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