Palparan’s transfer to Philippine Army Custodial Center, injustice to victims

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Press Statement | karapatan.org
September 15, 2014
Today’s decision of the Malolos Court to transfer “The Butcher” Jovito Palparan to the custody of the Philippine Army from the Bulacan Provincial Jail bodes evil to the hundreds of victims of the retired general and his ilk in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“The AFP moved heaven and earth to secure and bring back home their impunity icon Palparan. Although not surprising as it is packaged with Palparan’s supposed arrest, the transfer is nonetheless ominous for the case’s trial, eventual prosecution, and jailing of Palparan,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.
“AFP chief of staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang, 10th ID and former ISAFP chief Eduardo Año, and DND secretary Voltaire Gazmin have been building up towards this transfer, using the worn-out alibi, if not imagined, ‘threat to the safety and security’ of Palparan,” she added.
Palabay said the BS Aquino regime never thought of the safety and security of its citizens not only in terms of the pervading criminality but also in terms of the continuing rights violations. “Yet, The Butcher Palparan, with hundreds of victims of human rights violations, gets top priority for protection, not unlike the treatment the plunderers get in this rotten regime.”
The BS Aquino regime and the AFP will never ever allow the likes of Palparan be jailed, “because the arrest and jailing of Palparan is an indictment of the whole AFP, which abounds with Palparan clones.”  ###
Reference:    Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831
              Angge Santos, Media Liaison, 0918-9790580


Palparan transfer to military camp a realignment of the cosmos

How can something so routinary such as the detention of one man accused of horrific crimes against humanity be so complicated and fussy as to compel the realignment of the cosmos and tripping over of the government all over itself to suit his convenience and preference? This will serve as a bad precedent and example for all those who can wreak evil and get concessions along the way.

Palparan’s transfer to Philippine Army Custodial Center, based on alleged threats that have been proven in court today to be all speculative, does not answer the question of why a civilian should be detained in a military facility. Why, for heaven’s sake, in all places his old stomping grounds the headquarters of the Army?

It just doesn’t make sense.

Palparan and his gang, as well as his padrinos in high places, will be having a bacchanalian party tonight and high fives among themselves because the system has again  worked in favor of the rich, powerful, influential and with connections.

Yet again, what do we seek: justice for the victims or convenience for the accused? Indeed there is so much to be distressed, yet so much to fight for.#

Reference:
Private Prosecutors by:
Edre U. Olalia
NUPL Secretary General
+639175113373

Palparan’s homecoming to military custody shows arrest was staged – Anakbayan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2014

Jovito Palparan’s transfer to military HQ is Daang Matuwid-style VIP treatment for human rights violators. This homecoming is a grave insult to the families of the victims of extrajudicial killings, human rights abuse, torture and disappearances.

This shows that the “arrest” of Palparan was only a show staged to salvage Aquino’s popularity. The script: he was to be arrested only to be taken home again under the special care of his fascist barkada. Aquino should be held accountable for coddling Palparan and continuing the fascist rampage against the people under his Oplan Bayanihan.

- Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan national chairperson, 09399207114, @venzie

Bail for Baliaga is a way to escape prosecution – Desaparecidos

FILE: Mrs. Edita Burgos submitted newly-discovered evidence to the Supreme Court and expressed caution about her security and those of witnesses. (Allan Gomez/Interaksyon.com)

FILE: Mrs. Edita Burgos submitted newly-discovered evidence to the Supreme Court and expressed caution about her security and those of witnesses. (Allan Gomez/Interaksyon.com)

Press Release
October 22, 2013

“The Burgos case is not on the track to justice. First, the brains of the abduction of Jonas Burgos was exonerated and Gen. Eduardo Año was even confirmed as Chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Now, while Maj. Harry Baliaga has a standing warrant of arrest against him, he can still bail himself out of prison for only P40,000,” said Lorena P. Santos, secretary general of Families of Desaparecidos for Justice.

Jonas Burgos was disappeared by soldiers for suspicion of being a New People’s Army member. He was abducted April 28, 2007 and remains missing. His mother, Edita, filed a case of arbitrary detention, murder and obstruction of justice against Brig. Gen. Eduardo Año, Lt. Col. Melquiades Feliciano, Lt. Gen. Romeo Tolentino, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Lt. Gen. Alexander Yano and Dir. Gen. Avelino Razon Jr. But, all were dropped from the respondent’s list except for Maj. Harry Baliaga.

“The government does not realize how deeply enraged we are by the dropping of charges against the AFP generals led by Gen. Año and zeroing only on a small fry like Maj. Baliaga. But even the charges against Maj. Baliaga is useless because the Court provided him a P40,000 escape route. We expected Branch 216 of Quezon City to understand the gravity of this case,” Santos said. “By giving Maj. Baliaga a way to escape prosecution, another case of Palparan or Reyes is most likely on the way.” Santos continued.

Ret. Gen. Jovito Palparan is wanted for the kidnapping and illegal detention of the two missing students of the University of the Philippines; while ex -Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes is wanted for the killing of environmentalist Gerry Ortega. Both have standing arrest warrants since last year yet, both are still walking free and continue to escape arrest.

“The court should not let the Burgos case be watered down to a mere case of a common crime. This is a state perpetrated crime of probable murder aside from arbitrary arrest. Thus, perpetrators should be punished with the full force of the law,” Santos said.

“May we remind BS Noynoy Aquino that the world is watching at how the Burgos case and other cases of enforced disappearances in the Philippines will go. If the BS Aquino government will continue to let perpetrators of enforced disappearances go free, then he does not deserve to be in the Presidential office,” Santos concluded. ###

Reference: Lorena “Aya” Santos, Secretary General, Desaparecidos 09088121982

Did ISAFP chief swap case vs. ‘traitor’ AFP officer for the truth behind Jonas Burgos abduction?

pictureforblogInteraksyon.com

MANILA, Philippines – For the third time, the Commission on Appointments subcommittee handling nominations in the military put on the agenda for Wednesday, September 25, the case of Gen. Eduardo M. Ano, chief of the Intelligence Service-Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP).

The general’s confirmation had been held up after Sen. Serge Osmena III reserved his right to throw questions at the man tagged by Edita T. Burgos, the main private objector, as one of those involved in the abduction of her still-missing son, activist-farmer Jonas Burgos, on April 28, 2007.

At Wednesday’s hearing of the subcommittee on national defense, Mrs. Burgos gave senators a letter that detailed, for the first time, the long journey she had taken to uncover the truth about why the military would want to seize Jonas Burgos.

Over her objections, the subcommittee endorsed Ano’s confirmation to the CA plenary, citing the Department of Justice ruling on September 3 absolving him of complicity in the abduction and enforced disappearance of Jonas, son of press freedom icon Jose Burgos Jr.

Below is a transcript Ms. Burgos’ letter:

September 23, 2012

Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist 

THE COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENTS

Sirs/Madam:

Greetings!

With prayers that justice would be served, we have submitted an opposition to the promotion of Brig. Gen. Eduardo Año in a letter and affidavit last November 21, 2012, to this honorable Commission on Appointments.

My son, Jonas Joseph T. Burgos was abducted on April 28, 2007 at the Bahay Kainan Restaurant in the Ever Gotesco Mall while he was alone and having his lunch. The Commission will certainly appreciate that as Jonas’ mother, I must take all means and venue possible to find my son. The painful search has taken more than 6 years and yet my son continues to be missing.

Gen. Año has denied my allegations at the CA’s hearing last September 4, 2013.

We reiterate our opposition to the confirmation of the promotion of Brig. Gen. Eduardo Año.  We are against the promotion of Brig. Gen. Año because he is one of the suspects in the enforced disappearance of my son, Jonas Joseph T. Burgos, on April 28, 2007 at Ever Gotesco Mall, Quezon City.

Always prayerfully discerning our actions, guided with the principle of sincerity in our hearts and founded on the conviction that we must be fair to all, in rebuttal, I would like to narrate the circumstances that led me to conclude that Gen. Año is a human rights violator and does not deserve to be confirmed by this Commission:

Sometime in May 2007 I went to see Gen. Delfin Bangit then chief of ISAFP to ask about Jonas and Gen. Bangit denied that ISAFP had anything to do with the enforced disappearance of Jonas but he did not discount the possibility that other intelligence units of the military may be involved;

June 2007 I first heard from a police source of the name Lt. Dick Abletes arrested for spying for the NPA as somebody who may lead me to find out who forcibly took my son;

Sometime in June 2007, I met with Gen. Bangit as ISAFP chief at the Camp Crame office of Police Director then head of Task Force Usig Geary Barias where Gen. Bangit told me “off the record” that the enforced disappearance of Jonas is connected with the arrest of Lt. Dick Abletes;

In the December 2007/February 2008 issue of Newsbreak, Glenda Gloria in her article “Trapped in a Web of Lives: Is the disappearance of Jonas Burgos related to the arrest of an Army lieutenant accused of spying for communist rebels?” wrote that it was the “Army’s Intelligence Security Group (ISG) that was privy to the details of Abletes’ arrest … ISG is headed by Col. Ed Año, a 1983 graduate of the Philippine Military Academy who incidentally, is a classmate of Senior Supt. Ashner Dolina, police chief of Bulacan whose men ‘arrested’ Lipio (rebel returnee who the police presented as their witness that Jonas was abducted by the NPA);

  • When Gen. Año testified at the Court of Appeals on May 6, 2008, he admitted that ISG conducted surveillance operation on Lt. Abletes on March 23, 2007 and caught him on video meeting with 2 NPAs to whom he gave their Working Order of Battle;
  • Lt. Abletes was arrested by joint elements of the 56th IB, MICO 7th ID and 15th ISU/ISG on March 26, 2007 and turned over to the ISG together with the evidence found on Lt. Abletes such as 2 cellphones, email messages, etc.;
  • Lt. Abletes testified at the Court of Appeals on February 21, 2012 that he was interrogated by ISG and detained for 4 years, 6 months and 27 days, one year in solitary confinement (“bartolina“) until he was released in September 2011 after trial for violation of the Articles of War – communicating with and aiding the enemy – and acquitted by the court martial;
  • Judge Advocate General Marianne Aliedo testified at the Court of Appeals on April 12, 2012 that based on the records it was the ISG who filed the complaint against Lt. Abletes for violation of the Articles of War – communicating with and aiding the enemy; that the evidence of ISG were the “After Operation Report, 26 March 2007 by Eduardo L. Año, colonel, Philippine Army, Group Commander, ISG”, 2 cellphones with incriminating messages (cellphones were subjected to forensic examination, contents of his text messages reduced in writing), his emails showing communication with the members of the CPP/NPA; that ISG did not present any of their evidence, Col. Año did not testify on his “After Operation Report”.

Gen. Delfin Bangit, former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and former ISAFP Chief, predecessor of Gen. Año, personally told me that the arrest of Lt. Dick Abletes is connected to the enforced disappearance of Jonas on April 28, 2007. Lt. Abletes was arrested by ISG (15th ISU) jointly with the 56th IB on March 26, 2007 or a month earlier. ISG interrogated Lt. Abletes and detained him in “bartolina” and charged for violation of the Articles of War – communicating with and aiding the enemy. ISG has evidence against Lt. Abletes consisting of “After Operation Report” of Gen. Año, incriminating text messages and emails, testimony of Melissa Reyes, ISG videotaped meeting between Melissa Reyes and another male companion and Lt. Abletes but none of which was presented in the court martial trial resulting in the acquittal of Lt. Abletes.

After detaining Lt. Abletes for more than 4 years and despite strong evidence that he was a traitor, the ISG let him off by not presenting evidence against him and allowed him to be acquitted by the court martial. Why? There must be something in the evidence against Lt. Abletes or within the knowledge of Lt. Abletes which has a connection with the enforced disappearance of Jonas.

At the very least as Group Commander of ISG and currently Chief of the ISAFP Gen. Año has to account for the evidence against Lt. Abletes, produce it and turn it over to us. He has to account for his criminal negligence in intentionally withholding evidence against a traitor and allowing him to be acquitted. He has to account for the disclosure of his predecessor, Gen. Bangit that the arrest of Lt. Abletes is connected with the enforced disappearance of Jonas.

Having failed to meet his accountabilities he is not fit to be confirmed by this Commission.

For 6 long years I have been painfully searching for my son Jonas. I am certain that the military, particularly the Philippine Army the elements of the 7th Infantry Division including the 56th Infantry Battalion, the intelligence units of the 7th ID, and the ISG are involved in his disappearance. The officers of the Armed Forces in 2007 have all denied their responsibilities or accountabilities about Jonas. I only got lies from them (except Gen Bangit for his information about Lt. Abletes). PMA 1974 classmates Gen. Hermogenes Esperon CS and Gen. Romeo Tolentino, Philippine Army Commander, have conspired to cover up the crime against Jonas. But what is revolting to one who seeks the truth, is that their successors have continued with the cover up. Gen. Año is a co-conspirator in the cover up.

On the feast of St. Matthew, one of the evangelists, who proclaimed the truth, my prayer is that the Commission of Appointments will not allow itself to be manipulated to be part of the cover-up by confirming Gen. Año.

Respectfully yours,

EDITA T. BURGOS, OCDS