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Activists join hunt for Palparan

Jovito Palparan Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

ILOILO CITY—Student activists and human rights groups on Panay Island and artists in Laguna have joined the hunt for fugitive retired Major General Jovito Palparan, who is wanted for the kidnapping of two missing University of the Philippines (UP) students.

Student activists have started posting “Wanted Palparan” posters at the Iloilo City and Miag-ao town campuses of UP Visayas to campaign for Palparan’s arrest.

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“Palparan should face the legal charges filed against him in court. Our fellow activists who were abducted, murdered and tortured did not have the same privilege being afforded to him now. Justice should be served,” said JC Alejandro, regional spokesperson for the League of Filipino Students-Panay.

The image of the so-called “butcher” of political activists will soon appear on pins and T-shirts as artists in Los Baños, Laguna, stepped up the campaign for his arrest.

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The Artists Arrest, an umbrella organization of progressive artists’ groups, on Tuesday launched the Arrest the Butcher Project on Facebook, inviting groups or individuals to join the poster and sticker design-making activity in support of the  manhunt for fugitive Palparan and another coaccused soldier, Rizal Hilario.

The Arrest the Butcher Project is not a contest but “a mass movement that will help in the arrest of Palparan by designing posters, stickers, or stencils that we can reproduce,” said Vincent Silarde of the Artists Arrest.

He said anyone with the resources, from printing materials to glue, was welcome to join.

“To contribute to this project, one can simply download a picture of Palparan. A sample poster is also provided for your reference together with other documents related to the charges against Palparan and his men,” said the announcement on the Artists Arrest Facebook page.

Apple Martin of the filmmakers’ group Southern Tagalog Exposure, which is a member of the Artists Arrest, said they were raising money to fund the mass production of materials featuring the designs that would help lead to the arrest of Palparan.

“The designs could also be used on T-shirts or pins,” she said.

The government is offering a P1-million reward for information leading to the capture of Palparan who is facing charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention in connection with the 2006 abduction of Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan in Hagonoy, Bulacan, in 2006.

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Palparan went into hiding shortly before Judge Teodora Gonzales of a Malolos Regional Trial Court issued warrants for the arrest of Palparan and three other coaccused on Dec. 21.

Activist groups have tagged Palparan as a “berdugo” (butcher) for the string of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances that occurred in Central Luzon and Eastern Visayas when he was assigned in these regions.

The youth groups in Panay said they would be putting up the posters in other colleges and universities on the island. The posters encourage those with information on Palparan’s whereabouts to report to the National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police and human rights groups.

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TAGS: Arrest the Butcher Project, DoJ, illegal detention, Jovito Palparan, Kidnapping, NBI
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