NBI: Palparan no-show | Inquirer News

NBI: Palparan no-show

Bureau waited for surrender of ‘Butcher’
/ 01:56 AM December 24, 2011

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Expectations of retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. surrendering to authorities were dashed late Friday afternoon, with still no sign of the fugitive.

At 5:33 p.m., Ricardo Diaz, director of the National Bureau of Investigation office in Central Luzon, said: “For reasons unknown to us the alleged plan to give himself up did not materialize. Manhunt continues.”

Only half an hour earlier, Diaz said there was still “a possibility” that Palparan, tagged “Berdugo” (Butcher) by activist groups for his alleged link to extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances, would surrender Friday. “We are on standby just in case,” he said.


Diaz alerted the Inquirer to Palparan’s supposed planned surrender at 10 a.m. Friday but provided no details as to how the NBI was contacted.


The retired major general and three others are charged with kidnapping and serious illegal detention. Kidnapping is a nonbailable offense.

Two of the others charged, Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado and S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio, are now in police custody in Camp Crame, Quezon City. But Palparan and the fourth charged, M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario, have eluded arrest since Monday, when warrants for their arrest were issued by Judge Teodora Gonzales of Regional Trial Court Branch 14 in Malolos, Bulacan province.

The case stemmed from the abduction of University of the Philippines student activists Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño in Hagonoy, Bulacan, in June 2006, or three months before Palparan retired as commander of the 7th Infantry Division in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija province.

Cadapan and Empeño have not been seen by their families since then.


In Manila, NBI spokesperson Cecilio Zamora said authorities had yet to receive confirmation of Palparan’s surrender despite information from Diaz that the wanted man would yield to authorities.


But in the event that the surrender comes to pass, the matter of who between the NBI and the Philippine National Police is to take custody of Palparan will have to be decided by the court that issued the arrest warrant, Zamora said.

Diaz was assigned to serve the arrest warrant on Palparan, who has not been heard from since Monday when immigration personnel prevented him from boarding a Singapore-bound plane at Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Pampanga.

NBI agents serving the arrest warrant failed to find Palparan on Tuesday despite an earlier assurance from him issued through the media that he would not resist arrest.

But he questioned the legality of the kidnapping charges lodged against him, pointing out that an earlier complaint for torture and rape had been dismissed by the Department of Justice.

Judge Gonzales has also issued hold-departure orders on Palparan and the others accused.

Trackers on the job

PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome said efforts to track down Palparan were ongoing.

“We continue hunting him down. Our tracker teams are not stopping their efforts, and we won’t stop coordinating with the NBI [on this matter],” he said.

Echoing Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Bartolome said he would discuss with Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo the possibility of raising a cash reward in exchange for information that could lead to Palparan’s arrest.

“A reward will be a big help to us because the assistance of the community will contribute greatly toward finding him. We will still discuss this with Secretary Robredo,” he said.

Contacted later by phone, Robredo confirmed plans to raise a bounty for Palparan’s capture. He said the amount was still being discussed.

Bartolome told reporters that Palparan should come out of hiding: “It’s better for him to face his problems and prove that he is not guilty.”

He added: “Our police and the NBI have ways of finding a person so that finally the long arm of the law will reach him.”

Bartolome also said the PNP was checking out “many places” in the country to find Palparan. He declined to elaborate so as not to jeopardize operations.

Like Gloria Arroyo

In Baguio City, the president of a party-list group representing indigenous peoples said Palparan should prepare himself for Christmas in jail.

“Like his former boss, [former President] Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Palparan [et al.] should spend Christmas in jail and serve the full extent of the penalty attached to the grave crimes they have committed,” said Beverly Longid of the Katribu party-list group.

Arroyo, now a Pampanga representative, is under hospital arrest at Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City for alleged electoral sabotage.

Longid said Katribu was holding Palparan responsible for the alleged torture of the late Marcelo Fakilang in his own “ator” (indigenous community center) in Mountain Province and another man identified only as Aboli in 2004, when Palparan was assigned to the highlands.

“Human rights violators such as the 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 hundreds of human rights defenders now detained all over the country on trumped-up charges,” Longid said.  With reports from Karen Boncocan and DJ Yap in Manila; and Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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First posted 12:32 am | Saturday, December 24th, 2011

TAGS: Abduction, Fugitive, Kidnapping, Manhunt, Ricardo Diaz, The Butcher

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