“Siya pa itong mayabang, pero sa totoo lang duwag siya! (He is arrogant, but in truth he is a coward!),” Aya Santos, Desaparesidos secretary general said referring to Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan in reaction to the latter’s “privilege” of holding a press conference yesterday at the National Bureau of Investigation.
The families of the desaparecidos and other victims of Palparan were particularly irked by his statement that what he did, the killings and abduction of unarmed civilians, was for the “good of the people”.
“He even had the nerve to say that everything he did is for the people! Ang kapal ng mukha!” said Santos. “Was it good for those who were orphaned; was it good for those tortured? Was it good for those who were molested and raped?” Santos asked.
“I wonder where Palparan gets his arrogance. What victory has he achieved in the battlefield against the New People’s Army? All those areas where he was assigned as commander are still considered by the military as strongholds of the NPA,” Santos said.
“What he and his gang in the military claim as Palparan’s achievement is the cold-bloodied killing and disappearance of unarmed civilians he victimized. What he cannot do in the battlefield, he does to those who could not fight back. It’s disgusting!” Santos said. “Coward as he is, he tried to elude arrest and escaped from his charges.”
Ret. Maj. Gen. Palparan is charged with two counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention for abducting and disappearance of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan in June 2006. He eluded arrest for almost three years.
Raymond Manalo, a farmer from San Ildefonso, Bulacan who was also abducted by the 56th Infantry Division, said he met the two women during his military captivity at Camp Tecson. Manalo saw how the two women were tortured.
“Uniformed men like Palparan deserves nothing less than a conviction and the highest form of punishment. This should be done swiftly,” Santos said.
Desaparecidos calls on all survivors and families of victims of Palparan and his killer battalions to come out and tell their stories. “He should be made accountable to ALL of his and his men’s sins,” Santos said.
From the initial count, Karapatan documented 38 enforced disappearances in Central Luzon during Gen. Palparan’s reign, 12 in Eastern Visayas, and five in Mindoro.
A gathering of the Palparan’s victims is scheduled on Friday, August 15, to collectively call for Palparan’s conviction. ###
Reference: Aya Santos, secretary general
Contact Number: 09088121982/4354146