Palparan still at-large as court hearings proceed

From martial law to Noynoy Aquino: “Berdugos” on the loose

Fugitive general Jovito Palparan was still a no-show in today’s hearing at the Malolos Trial Court for the kidnapping and illegal detention case filed against him in relation to the disappearance of UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan. 

“We knew all along that raising the bounty for Palparan’s head is not enough and, in fact, not the solution in arresting the Butcher. The most necessary requisite is the firm resolve of Pres. Aquino to arrest Palparan, regardless of what the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ views on the matter. But as things are, kulang na lang ipagtanggol niya si Palparan gaya nang pagtatanggol niya kay DILG Undersecretary Puno,” said  Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.  
 
Palparan has been at-large since December 2011 when the warrant of arrest was issued by the Malolos Trial Court. Meanwhile, court hearings started in January without Palparan. 

Palabay said that, “Palparan reminds us of the martial law years, where torturers roamed freely, were tolerated and were even permanent fixtures in the martial law landscape. Palparan calls to mind the likes of Rolando Abadilla and Rodolfo Aguinaldo, the much-hated torturers of activists and oppositionists during martial law. They, together with Palparan, are among the “poster boys” of terror and impunity that span from the martial law years to this day.” 
 
 
 
Rolando Abadilla, a Colonel during the martial law years, was the head of the Metrocom Intelligence and Security Group (MISG) while Rodolfo Aguinaldo was known as Abadilla’s alter ego in the MISG. Many political detainees during martial law point to Abadilla and Aguinaldo, with their MISG men, as their torturers. Alfred McCoy, in his book Closer than Brothers, mentioned that both trained in the United States under the Central Intelligence Agency.  

“Palparan is in the same mold of Abadilla and Aguinaldo. The military is in the same mold, too; believing that to inflict pain on those they perceive as their enemies is the most heavenly thing to do. The tradition continues to this day as the Aquino government implements Oplan Bayanihan that is guided by the US Counterinsurgency program,” said Palabay. 

One of the witnesses to the Cadapan-Empeno abduction saw how the two UP students were tortured inside a military camp. 

“If Abadilla was considered a hero during martial law, it is not impossible that the military institution regards Palparan in the same way. Need we still ask why Palparan is still at-large? On September 21, Noynoy will again bring us to the days where his family was a victim; but he will stop there, skip the fact that he has done nothing to correct the situation, and cover up the reality that he has now victimized countless families too,” concluded Palabay. ###