Palparan unaffected by watchlist order | Inquirer News

Palparan unaffected by watchlist order

Retired General and former Congressman Jovito Palparan Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Retired General and former Congressman Jovito Palparan Jr. said he was not affected by the watchlist order issued by the Department of Justice (DoJ) against him.

Palparan appeared Thursday before the DoJ’s preliminary investigation on the criminal case filed against him and several others in connection with the disappearance of two students from the University of the Philippines.

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“I am not affected. Wala naman akong pera para mag-abroad [I have no money to go abroad],” Palparan told reporters.

He said if ever he would travel, it would only be in the Visayas or Mindanao where his relatives lived. “I just hope it doesn’t prevent me from traveling to Visayas and Mindanao,” he said in jest.

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Still, Palparan said, the watchlist order violated his right to travel.

Palparan, along with six others, were placed under the watchlist after they were slapped with a complaint for rape, serious physical injuries, arbitrary detention, maltreatment of prisoners, grave threats, grave coercion and violation of Republic Act 7438 or the law which provides for the rights of detained persons for the disappearance of Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno.

The two were abducted in 2006, along with farmer Manuel Merino for being suspected as members of the New People’s Army (NPA). They are all missing up to this day.

The complaint is undergoing preliminary investigation to determine if there is probable cause, or enough evidence, to file criminal charges against Palparan et al in the courts.

Palparan has attended all the preliminary hearings on the criminal complaint.

At Thursday’s preliminary hearing, the lawyers of Concepcion Empeño and Erlinda Cadapan said the military submitted to state prosecutors the name of a different security aide to Palparan instead of the one they had wanted to be identified.

Armed Forces provost marshall Colonel Herbert Yambing identified the security aide as one Private First Class Edward Neri but lawyer Edre Olalia, the mothers’ lawyer, told the panel that Neri was not the one they wanted to be identified.

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The still unidentified security aide was allegedly among those who took part in the abduction of Sherlyn and Karen in 2005.

The security aide was seen by one of the witnesses at the preliminary investigation on July 19 and the panel ordered the military to identify him.

Yambing told reporters that he made an “honest mistake” because the security aide had his back turned to him last July 19 and all of Palparan’s security aides from the military were in blue shirts.

Yambing also said that he was not provided a photograph of the security aide, which was submitted by the complainants’ lawyers to the panel.

Olalia said Yambing could not have made a mistake because it was specifically pointed out to the general where the security aide was seated last July 19.

Yambing said he would comply with the panel’s order to submit the name of the security aide at the next hearing on August 19.

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TAGS: Department of Justice, Human rights, Jovito Palparan, Sherlyn Cadapan, University of the Philippines (UP), Watchlist
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