Court orders transfer of Palparan to Malolos jail
MANILA, Philippines–The Malolos Bulacan Regional Trial Court Branch 14 has ordered the immediate transfer of retired General Jovito Palparan to its provincial jail.
After nearly three years on the run Palparan was arrested early morning Tuesday in Sta. Mesa, Manila by operatives of the Anti-Organized Crime Division of the National Bureau of Investigation and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
He is facing kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges over the disappearance of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan in 2006.
His arraignment is set on August 18.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the arrest of Palparan shows that the Aquino government is determined to “end the culture of impunity” characterized by rampant human rights violations under Aquino’s predecessor, Gloria Arroyo.
Palparan, 63, has been on the run since December 2011 after a court issued a warrant for his arrest in the kidnapping and disappearance of activists Empeño and Cadapan in Bulacan.
The two remain missing. The retired major general, who was in charge of a regional army unit, has denied any involvement.
Human rights groups and a UN investigator have blamed security forces for the deaths and disappearances of about 1,000 activists between 2001 and 2010 under Arroyo. The former president gave the military a free hand in what it called an all-out war against communist rebels.
Aquino’s government has said it wants justice for the missing students to improve the Philippines’ human rights record after a decade of abuses under the Arroyo administration.
A breakthrough in the case came late Monday when naval intelligence agents checked a tipoff from an informant and spotted Palparan in the crowded suburban Manila neighborhood, said military intelligence service chief Major General Eduardo Ano, who headed a task force assigned to capture the fugitive general.
In 2012, Aquino doubled the reward for the capture of Palparan, along with a former governor wanted in the killing of an environmentalist and a former congressman convicted of murdering his wife, to P2 million ($45,600), with officials saying the President was unhappy at the lack of progress in arresting high-profile fugitives. With The Associated Press
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.