After 3 years, Palparan’s arrest still nowhere near: Under Aquino, murderers and rights violators go free - Karapatan

"By all indications, BS Aquino and DILG Sec. Roxas would rather go after the small fish like the 'martilyo gang' that recently robbed a mall than to catch and punish butchers like Gen. Jovito Palparan or Pfc. Roderick dela Cruz, one of the suspected killers of Hacienda Luisita farm-worker leader, Ric Ramos, " said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. 

"Today, Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan has been eluding arrest and prosecution for THREE YEARS now! If it were an Aquino boss who was victimized, like Henry Sy, then we would see Aquino and Roxas in a dash to catch the perpetrator, just as how they have swiftly responded, unusually, to the SM robbery,” added Palabay.   

Three years ago on this day, the Malolos Regional Trial Court issued warrants of arrest to Gen. Palparan, S/Sgt. Rizal Hilario, M/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio and M/Sgt. Felipe Anotado. The first two remain to be fugitives. Their warrants were based on charges of kidnapping and illegal detention of Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan. The women were abducted in Hagonoy, Bulacan in 2006, more than seven years ago. 

Meanwhile, Pfc. De la Cruz of the 7th Infantry Division-Philippine Army was recently acquitted by the Regional Trial Court of Tarlac from the criminal charges against him on the killing of Ramos in 2005. Dela Cruz was deployed in Hacienda Luisita as a member of Special Operations Team.

"The issue of Hacienda Luisita, and the massacre in 2004, has fully unmasked then Senator BS Aquino as a despotic haciendero. This is the reason why violence perpetrated by the soldiers in Hacienda Luisita is continuing even with Supreme Court's decision for land distribution," Palabay said. "Now that this despotic haciendero is the Philippine President, he uses his vast powers to protect his family's interests, and even to use more violence," Palabay added.   

"Rights violators and murderers going free is becoming a trend under the BS Aquino government—the recent pardon of Jose Antonio Leviste, the non-arrest of Palawan ex-Gov. Joel Reyes accused of killing environmental activist Gerry Ortega, the non-arrest of Gen. Palparan, the granting of bail to Jonas Burgos' abductor Maj. Harry Baliaga, and the acquittal of Pfc. Dela Cruz. This does not include the special treatment accorded to Janet Napoles and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo," Palabay said.

“BS Aquino sends out a clear message: murderers are free to walk the streets and, more rights violations are expected. For this, we hold the BS Aquino government accountable to all the human rights violations and continuing impunity under his reign. Every day, it is becoming clearer to the people who BS Aquino serves," Palabay said.