Rights group: Army coddling Palparan

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Jovito Palparan Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The fugitive Jovito Palparan may be under the protection of Armed Forces personnel and business owners, and President Benigno Aquino III should order the military to help arrest him, an international human rights group said Wednesday.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement there were apprehensions as well that the military could be interfering in the civilian judicial process, as indicated by the transfer to military custody of two of the coaccused of the retired major general tagged by activists as “Berdugo” (Butcher).

“President Aquino should get the message to the military that the years of protecting Palparan for grievous abuses are over,” HRW deputy Asia director Elaine Pearson said in the statement.

“Officers and soldiers alike should be on notice that if they block civilian authorities in arresting Palparan, they too will face legal consequences,” Pearson said.

Palparan is charged with kidnapping and serious illegal detention for the disappearance of University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño in 2006.

Prosecuting him will show that the Aquino administration is taking the Philippines in a new direction, according to Pearson.

“Palparan has become a symbol of the widespread lack of accountability for atrocities in the Philippines today,” she said.

Powerful backers

HRW observed that the P1-million reward put up for Palparan’s capture had not led to his arrest. It said its informants had conveyed suspicion that the fugitive had powerful backers.

“Civilian officials have told [us] that they believe some military personnel and business owners, who benefited from Palparan’s campaign against the communist New People’s Army, are protecting the retired general,” HRW said.

It also noted that a group of active and retired military officers had come out to defend Palparan and to assail what it called his “trial by publicity.”

The group had warned of soldiers’ demoralization, saying that the abuses attributed to Palparan occurred during counterinsurgency operations.

Bulacan Judge Teodora Gonzales issued the arrest warrants for Palparan et al. in December.

More than a month later, authorities have little information on Palparan’s whereabouts, Ricardo Diaz, director of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Luzon, said Wednesday. Another of Palparan’s coaccused, Sgt. Rizal Hilario, also remains at large.

Name names

Diaz said that the warrants remained in effect and that the search had not been called off.

Asked to comment on HRW’s statement, military spokesperson Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said: “If they have names, provide us with the names. As a matter of policy we won’t tolerate any member of the military coddling personalities wanted by the government.”

Burgos said the head of the AFP Human Rights Office, Col. Domingo Tutaan, would meet with representatives of HRW on Friday.

Burgos pointed out the Army was quick to turn over Palparan’s coaccused, Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado and Staff Sgt. Edgardo Osorio, to the custody of the Philippine National Police when Judge Gonzales of the Regional Trial Court in Malolos, Bulacan province, issued the arrest warrants.

“Since they are in the active service, we facilitated their turnover to the authorities. But in the case of those no longer in the service, it will be hard,” he said.

But HRW pointed out that the Regional Trial Court had quickly granted the motion for the transfer of Anotado and Osorio from police to military custody.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima had protested the move. She wrote Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and said the lawyer who had petitioned for the transfer on behalf of an unnamed Intelligence and Security Group commanding officer was not the counsel who represented the two accused officers in the preliminary investigation and hearings.

De Lima also said in her letter that the justice department had neither been furnished a copy of the court order nor informed of the plan to file a motion to transfer Anotado and Osorio.

She said the Army had also failed to inform the justice department of the two officers’ whereabouts.

Still hopeful

Palparan was last seen on December 19 last year at Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in the Clark Freeport. He was preparing to board a plane bound for Singapore but was prevented by Bureau of Immigration personnel.

Diaz said that despite operations aided by the police and the military in at least 18 areas nationwide since December 20, the NBI had yet to find Palparan.

“[But] we’re not losing hope,” Diaz told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in the City of San Fernando. “We’re waiting for him to be careless. In the first phase of his hiding, he is expected to be careful. But the days will wear him down … That’s when we will come like thieves in the night.”

Tips on Palparan’s whereabouts have stopped coming despite the P1-million reward for information that could lead to his arrest, Diaz said.

Futile hunt

Leftist groups have joined the hunt for Palparan, whom they believe responsible for the extrajudicial killing, disappearance, torture and harassment of activists in areas where he was assigned.

Diaz said the NBI’s search for Palparan had brought its agents to 18 areas in the provinces of Isabela, Mindoro, North Cotabato, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Quezon and Laguna, and in the cities of Pasig,  Balanga and Angeles.

“All of these [operations] were negative for General Palparan,” he said.

Diaz said he did not believe reports that some military officials could be protecting the fugitive.

He said Palparan could be just waiting for the case to be dismissed and exhausting legal remedies before surfacing. With a report from Dona Z. Pazzibugan in Manila

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  • tiopaero

    Di mo kaya si palparan Abnoy Panot may protection sa Military yan bata !!!! Kung kaya ng NBI at Pulis  pumasok sa kampo ng militar maniniwala akong mahuhuli si Palparan pero magkakamatayan muna ng maraming buhay bago mahuli yan.     Go Go Go Palparan !!!!

    • ibyok

      just wasted my few seconds reading your worthless comment, boy…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U6I5Z47EK5YM3VCD3GXEPJB3CU cutie boy

    yang mga komunistang kaibigan ni pnoy ang pasimuno na hulihin si palparan. dapat ubusin na yung mga yan.. unahin si llamas, tapos si baraquel, then si bello at lahat ng komunista sa kongreso……

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_V5ENL2D5VMY7I5RD74M7LXSZOY jhon

    Palparan is a true soldier………..Penoy yellow army actual color is red………………viva palparan…..we support you….                  officers around the corners and waiting…………

    • ibyok

      “true soldier ” in hiding.. HA HA

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_V5ENL2D5VMY7I5RD74M7LXSZOY jhon

    PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT PENOY IS A PIECE OF JUNCK………………HE/SHE SHOULD GO SHOWBIZNESS LIKE HER SISTE KRIS AQUINO…SO MANY YOUNG ACTORS THERE FOR HIM TO HAVE FUN………………………VIVA PALPARAN

  • warpiglets

    army is coddling palparan while the two supposedly kidnapped communist UP students are now coddled by NPA.

  • to0

    Now, you see an ExGeneral turning into a coward. He has the chance of defending himself in Court, yet, he elect to hide among his comrades. This only shows that we can not   trust the military. If the Judiciary is unique in a way, we should also look at the Military and PNP as another breed. They will protect their comrades no matter what. As the motto of the Marines says, “Walang iwanan.” 

    • Defen Dior Pen

      do you have any evidence that Palparan’s comrades are proctecting them? thats merely a speculations………. now,, kapatid, i would believe you if you and the HR could mention names who are they………….

    • mmm choco

      ikaw atapang rin?? 

  • Pinoytagabantay

    Dapat ang tutukan ng Human Rights Watch ng bonggang bongga ay ang kaso ng mga Ampatuan…,Bilang isang neutral citizen of this country…,I saw the big deference and sense something this Human Rights Advocates/ Watch are trying to prove…,obvious na may pinapanigan sila..,The Ampatuan brutality that kill 50 plus innocent civilians in one day..,Ngek…!! They never called the Ampatuans as “BUTCHER”…Baka bumilib pa sila sa style ng mga Ampatuan sa pag patay…,

  • Pinoytagabantay

    Who knows???This is another ploy of the communist…,and this two UP students are really still alive..,and their comrades are hiding them to the fullest to carry out their ultimate intention…,create a reliable black propaganda against those people involved and their organization…,

  • Defen Dior Pen

    Naming the AFP as Palparan’s coddler was just  speculations i thought. HR should not said as if, the soldiers did not know that blocking civilian authorities may have legal consequences… haller, of course they knew it….. As a teacher, i still believe that the AFP was equipped with professional individuals with credibility and integrity. Alam nila kung ano ang tama at mali…… 

  • Defen Dior Pen

    we should not be biased on both sides…. alalahanin natin na ang mali ni Juan ay kay juan lamang at hindi pwede na ang pamilya ni pedro na umampon ky juan ay madadamay narin! got it? @to0:disqus 

  • http://www.birdandfish.com Bird and Fishes

    If indeed Palparan is not guilty of the charges filed against him, why GO into hiding?

    all of you who sides with Palparan only shows how stupid, how anti people and anti- justice you are. 

    so shut up, and READ , RESEARCH more and fight for HUMAN RIGHTS.

  • jhoshalopez

    Lagi nalang???? halata talagang may pinapanigan ang Human Rights Watch na yan!!! kahit naman galing sa military organization ni Ret. General Palparan, it doesn’t mean na military din ang kumakanlong sa kanya… NPA nanaman ang may gawa-gawa nyan!!!!! 

  • bb_demokrasya

    i challenge the HR to present solid evidence that the military is indeed coddling palparan. While the leftists may see this allegation as a good propaganda to discredit the military, this also put the Human Rights Watch to a DISADVANTAGE since their CREDIBILITY and REPUTATION as an organization will be at stake if ever their “claim” won’t be proven to be true. Well, even rebels who have more than a million ransom were not caught.

    Besides since we are playing a game of “PRESUMPTION” here, maybe, the NPAs themselves killed their missing members which they are so fond of doing and then blamed it on the military. That will be an easier excuse for them. Nasiraan na nila ang armed forces sa mga tao, napagtatakpan pa nila ng walang pananagutan sa batas at sa kung sino mang tao ang mga krimen nila. 

  • mommwishforpeace

    Bakit hindi ang mga komunistang NPA na siyang sumira sa buhay namin at ari-arian ang siyang pagtuunan ng HR…….?
    my pinipili na ba ngayon ang tinatawag na Human rights watch?

  • mmm choco

    sa  san jose ,bulacan – dan sa farm . check nyo dyanlang yan tinatago ng npa ang dalawang babae. .. to the military – about 40 to 50 sila, bumibisita sa farms.. for indoctrination..daw.. NPA/HR  -pwe!

  • alice_in_chains

    human rights groups = nuisance

  • mommwishforpeace

    maaaring tama si @bb_demokrasya:disqus ….ayan ang laro ng mga NPA…. gagawa cla ng mga atrocities at itapon sa iba ang mga kapaltahang iyon….
    iyan ba ang reform na gusto nilang mangyari sa gobyerno?ang sirain ang kabuhayan ng sambayanan?

  • mommwishforpeace

    I’m not in favor of Palparan but hindi kaya way ni Gen Jovito Palparan ang pagtago to deal with communists.. and communists sympathizers.. and those with links to communists..?……………..
    NPA/communist was responsible for the massacre,beheadings and human rights violations in the areas near ours…. Now WHO IS THE BUTCHER?

  • mommwishforpeace

    Bakit hindi rin pinagtuunan ng HR ang pagtugis sa mga berdugong NPA terorist na naging dahilan ng pagkawala ng maraming buhay ng mamamayan dulot ng knilang karumaldumal na krimen?

  • jhoshalopez

    i would probably think na nagtatago si Palparan hindi dahil guilty sya kundi dahil alam nya na dilikado ang buhay nya dahil nagkalat na ang mga kampon ng NPA kahit saan dati rati kasi nasa bundok lang sila pero ngayon kahit saan anjan sila even in the congress!!!!hahahahaha…. 

    let us face the reality! we could not know who we can trust….

    • ginvestor

      OMG! “i would probably think na nagtatago si Palparan hindi dahil guilty sya”

      Magbasa ka nga ng balita sa mga pinag-gagagawa niya.

      • jhoshalopez

        haller!!!!! do you have any proof na ginawa nya nga talaga ang binibintang sa kanya?

        so dont just judge persons who are accused base on what u read in the paper!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E3CE56OQVPC4RPYD2NR4VD3SUE Bert

    Like Lacson, Palparan has the reason why he is hiding from the govt. He doesn’t want to surrender to a govt whom he perceived will not give him fair treatment and real justice……

  • kulkat8

    So what,what is wrong with it?  To all the so called Human Rights activists I say ,GO BRING YOUR HUMAN RIGHTS FIGHT TO CHINA AND NORTH KOREA.  

    • ginvestor

      If you can’t see the wrong in tortures, extra-judicail killings, enforced disapperances then don’t be bothered. Easy kalang, relax. Don’t be too hard on your coconut. Somehow I believe that there’s relation between low IQ and the inability to comprehend the fundamental rights of human beings.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZKPNHSPBMK74VZ3GBIPNTJA7KE Edwin

    kung wlang mapuntahan si palparan..dito sya sa amin..welcome with all our heart pa…human rights violation kapag NPA ang nadale, alright kapag Militar ang nadale..nasaan ang level nyo HRW?

  • Francis81

    May emissary na naman si Pweenoy na pinadala kay Palparan, sinabi kay Palparan Bok sabi ni Presidente sumoko ka na raw kasi masyado na siyang napapahiya na hindi ka mahuli huli, Hindi ka naman daw ikukulong, house arrest lang.  Sagot ni Palparan, sorry Bok wala akong tiwala sa baklang yan!

  • Jose Maria Aquino

    Noy please! Please lang! Pa salvage mo na yang si Palparan!  Hindi ako maka uwi and assume office in the National Security Council habang Palparan is on the loose.

    Love lots and miss you,

    Jowa este Joma pala
    Luv u tsup tsup!

    • Defen Dior Pen

      so manigas ka jan…

  • Francis81

    Kayong mga Rights Group bakit pag NPA ang napatay Human Rights kaagad?  Pag sundalo o pulis ang napatay ng NPA All Right lang?

    • ginvestor

      Naku naman. Extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, torturing at kung anu-ano pang kababuyan sa pagkatao ng mga biktima ang usapin dito.

      • Defenderspen

        may proof of evidence na po ba?

  • rosamistika16

    can we not cite palparan’s lawyer of contempt or obstruction of justice? It is unbelievable that he is representing his client but he doesn’t know his client’s whereabouts!

    last time palparan’s lawyer said that the students are still alive. how could he say that?  who give him that idea? isn’t it clear that he was even fooling the authorities?

    naku naman!!!!! bkit lahat na yata ng abogado ay sinungaling???

  • pantot

    tama yan wag kang sumuko if kaya nga ni LACSON at HONASAN  d gawin mo din…kawawa naman ang mga namatay na sundalo at  napagkamalang DPA na sibilyan pinatay ng NPA..+ mga  kinikikilan ng npa….trial by publicity lang yan….subukang kayang pasukin ng nbi ang kampo ng militar at ng mag kaalaman kung sino ang matibay…punta ka sa amin…itatago kita…dapat mas dumami pa ang sundalong kagaya mo…para naman matigil na yaang kabulukang paniniwala….doon sila sa china humingi ng tulong para hulihin si Palparan…kc tahimik sila kapag nananalasa sa pagkupkup ng isla natin sa spratly ang mga chikwa….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VUBFBIYFAJOPPP4FP3CKBJ4M6A SOre loser

    The NPAs and Abu Sayaf terrorists are neither HUMAN nor RIGHT! Hence, no violation of such!

    • ginvestor

      You are clearly a human being from the middle ages.

  • http://twitter.com/dwengonzaga edwin

    baligtarin nyo ang mga kampo ng militar. hehehe.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NWVMLLUEVODVD4BHGZJ7JH5ANU seekleer

    Hey, human right group,,, why don’t you bring JOMA to the Philippines for him to face justice over there. It is well documented that JOMA has been hiding in Netherland. Gen Palparan has sacrificed his life and that of his family fighting to eradicate senseless violence perpetrated by the NPA whereas JOMA has done nothing of any significance that will advance the well being of Filipinos. If you can’t deliver JOMA to justice, then, shut up!!! You are just exposing yourselves as the mouthpiece of terrorist organizations.

    • ginvestor

      Haha. Sir yes sir! Unggoy ka.

  • maypakialamako

    kaya di makita si palparan e kinupkup muna ng bespren nyang si sata nas sa impyerno!

    • rutherwilliam

      oo…at magkikita din kayo doon @maypakialamako:disqus …

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