June 27, 2012 | Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Human rights Karapatan on Wednesday dared the Armed Forces of the Philippines to open its military camps to prove that it is not coddling retired general Jovito Palparan.
Cristina Palabay, spokesperson of Karapatan, said the move would show the AFP’s sincerity to capture the fugitive former army general.
“The search the camps for Palparan to impress on the Aquino government to go beyond press releases and get serious in finding one of the most notorious human rights violator in this country,” Palabay said.
Six months have passed since Gen. Palparan was issued a warrant of arrest by the Malolos Regional Trial Court for the disappearance of UP students, Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan.
Palabay said the families of the two missing students and Karapatan believe that the AFP is harboring the ex-military top official.
“We believe that Palparan’s like-minded friends who are influential both in the government and in the military institutions are coddling…Palparan. This is the only logical explanation for the long delay in finding and jailing Palparan,” she added.
Karapatan, Families of Desaparecidos for Justice (Desaparecidos) and other groups picketed in front the headquarters of the Department of National Defense at the Camp Aguinaldo along EDSA road to call on the AFP to ‘surrender Palparan’.
“He (Palparan) should face his charges in court and be imprisoned!” Mary Guy Portajada, secretary general of Desaparecidos said.
Karapatan-Central Luzon also held a rally at the gates of the Northern Luzon command in Camp Servillano Aquino, Tarlac City, preceded by a forum on the Anti-Terrorism Law.
“Six years is long enough to wait for the disappeared to come back home, for the Families of the Disappeared, we will not stop until Palparan and Arroyo is punished on their crimes to our loved ones,” Connie, Empeño’s mother, said. – Dennis Carcamo