“The BS Aquino is treating The Butcher Gen. Palparan like a diva,” Aya Santos, secretary general of Families of Desaparecidos for Justice said on the overkill security measure provided to Palparan during today’s pre-trial hearing.
“The Butcher’s whim for a security is very much attended to. He even has a groupie,” Santos said referring to some people bearing pro-Palparan placards who posted themselves near the protest action held by human rights groups.
Elements of the Philippine Army, Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT), police and National Bureau of Investigation came “to protect” the retired general. “Protect from whom? From us who are victims of The Butcher? We carry no guns, but only the pictures of our missing or killed loved ones,” Santos said. “The government is obviously protecting this criminal,” Santos said.
The traffic around the Malolos Regional Trial Court was even re-routed as part of the government’s security protocol. Members of the police and the Army, in battle gear, were posted around the court, even as far as 100 meters away. There was even a fire truck.
Inside the court room, Gen. Palparan had a three-layered security who were fully armed. His close-in guards were from the Philippine Army. “Sa sobrang dami ng mga gwardiya sa loob ng korte, hindi na pinapasok ang mga nagbabantay sa kasong ito. The people and groups who are monitoring the developments of this case were prevented inside the court just to accommodate Palparan’s armed security,” Santos said.
Palparan, through his legal counsel Atty. Narzal Mallares, requested the court to transfer detention to PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame citing Palparan’s fear of co-detainees in Bulacan Provincial Jail who are allegedly NPA members.
After Atty. Jun Oliva of National Union of People’s Lawyers, private counsels of Mrs. Empeno and Mrs. Cadapan, wryly commented that Camp Crame Custodial Center holds several alleged members of the CPP-NPA, Palparan asked his lawyer to withdraw their motion. In the end, Palparan asked the court to transfer him at the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) at Camp Aguinaldo.
Desaparecidos, Karapatan and other people’s organizations staged a protest in front of Malolos Regional Trial Court. Addressing the claim of Palparan’s wife, Dra. Evangelina Palparan who resorted to victim blaming, Mrs. Connie Empeno said, “Yes, our daughters are activists and I was indifferent. But, Karen showed me the realities of life which need to be changed. I am not ashamed to let my daughter go to poor communities to help them. Why blame us, the mothers? I did not abduct Karen and Sherlyn. Blame your husband.”
Ret. Gen. Palparan, after two years of being a fugitive, now faces the charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention for the disappearance of two students from the University of the Philippines Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan. His co-accused S/Sgt. Rizal Hilario is still at-large, while S/Sgt. Felipe Anotado and M/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio are under military custody.
The next hearing is scheduled on September 8. ###
Reference: Lorena Santos, pangkalahatang kalihim, Desaparecidos, 0908-8121982