CBCP exec willing to testify vs Palparan
MANILA, Philippines―An activist priest who was on the “liquidation list” of retired Army Major General Jovito Palparan said Wednesday that he has documents to prove the various human rights violations committed by “The Butcher”.
Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive director of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – National Secretariat for Social Action Justice and Peace (CBCP-NASSA) said that he could testify in court about the killings of Mindoro activists when Palparan was the commandere of the Army’s 2014th Brigade in Mindoro from May 2001 to April 2003.
Gariguez, who led a successful hunger strike in 2009 to protest large-scale mining on Mindoro island, was a founding leader of Alyansa Laban sa Mina, and a part-time staff of the Mangyan Mission in Mindoro.
Gariguez recalled that his 40th birthday was marked by an “unforgettable period of brutal liquidation of leaders of progressive movements” in Mindoro. He also added that “suspected rebel sympathizers not just killed, but tortured, decapitated, or summarily executed, and in a number of cases, with their ears and tongue chopped off or eyes plucked out.”
During Palparan’s “reign of terror”, he said he was in the top 6 on the assassination list due to his role as a community leader.
“During his reign of terror, Palparan lumped together all those in progressive movements, even people from the church doing justice advocacy for the poor, and they were targeted for assassination. They were tagged as dissident terrorist in Palparan’s list and his list even included me. That’s why I needed to leave the diocese for a while, while Palparan was there,” Gariguez said.
Gariguez said that he was able to record all the extrajudicial killings in Mindoro and is willing to make these files available if required during court proceedings.
The retired Major General was arrested Tuesday on Teresa St., in Sta. Mesa, Manila by virtue of an arrest warrant issued filed by Malolos regional trial court on charges of serious illegal detention and kidnapping of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan in 2006.
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