For the fifth year, the family, friends and fellow activists of Nilo Arado will celebrate his birthday without him. On January 8, 2012, Nilo is 44 years old. He was 39 when abducted along with Maria Luisa Dominado by men believed to be military agents on April 12, 2007 in Oton, Iloilo.
Human rights advocates under Panay Alliance-KARAPATAN, Save Luisa and Nilo Movement (SLNM), Samahan ng mga Ex-detainee Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) and National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), together with Nilo’s and Luisa’s kin will hold a simple birthday party on January 9.
Nilo was then chairman of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Panay) and a peasant leader for Panay and Guimaras, while Luisa was spokesperson of SELDA.
The occasion also serves as a venue for the call to end impunity and to stop all human rights violations. At present, this call is focused on the arrest of retired general Jovito Palparan Jr., notoriously called “the butcher” for a bloody trail of killings and enforced disappearances against activists during his active duty as military officer.
“Wanted” posters with Palparan’s picture will be disseminated during the birthday celebration.
Afterwards, a delegation of advocates will meet with Iloilo City Police Director Marieto Valerio at the Iloilo City Police Office to request his permission to post “wanted” posters of Palparan at police precincts in Iloilo City.
Palparan was issued an arrest warrant for the crimes of kidnapping and serious illegal detention. However, he remains a fugitive and authorities have so far failed to arrest him. The Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior and Local government have posted a P1,000,000 reward for information that can lead to his arrest.
The cases filed against Palparan were very much welcomed by human rights advocates.
“For a long time, the family, friends and colleagues of victims, together with human rights advocates struggled to achieve justice,” said Reylan Vergara of Panay Alliance-KARAPATAN. Yet, justice will be elusive to the victims as long as perpetrators are not brought before the courts and meted due punishment.
Vergara challenged the Aquino Administration to direct all concerned government agencies to conduct a manhunt for Palparan. The seriousness of this administration to capture him is a measure of his sincerity in giving justice to victims of human rights violations, said Vergara.
Human rights advocates believe the successful prosecution of Palparan could serve as a warning to military and other public officials against committing human rights violations, and a big step towards ending impunity. ####
Reference: Reylan Vergara, Mobile No. 09398300744