PHILIPPINES: Retired armed forces officers should repudiate Palparan
Akbayan (Citizens Action Party) | 01.19.2012
Akbayan Party today called on the Association of General and Flag Officers (AGFO) to repudiate retired major general Jovito Palparan and declare him an enemy of the Filipino soldiers and the military institution.
The political party issued the statement in response to AGFO’s accusation of “trial by publicity” against Palparan. Akbayan called the retired officers’ defence of Palparan as “regrettable."
“Instead of protecting Palparan, former officers of the Armed Forces should assist the government and the people to catch Palparan”, Akbayan Spokesperson Risa Hontiveros said.
“Because of his acts, Palparan soiled the institution of the Armed Forces and violated his duties to protect the people”, according to Hontiveros.
Hontiveros also called on Palparan to stop hiding and face the charges against him in court since his patron can no longer give him protection.
“Gloria Macapagal Arroyo can no longer defend Palparan. If Mrs. Aquino can accept her fate, maybe Palparan can join her former master”, Hontiveros said.
According to Hontiveros, Palparan “did Arroyo’s dirty work for her by silencing dissent against the former president and terrorizing entire communities wherever he was assigned. In exchange, Arroyo abused the powers of the state to provide a sanctuary for Palparan. Now that Arroyo is facing charges against her crimes, Palparan should likewise become accountable.”
Hontiveros also called Palparan’s refusal to surrender to the authorities as giving weight to his guilt. According to Hontiveros, “The mere fact that Palparan tried to board a plane to Singapore after promising to face his cases and is now hiding points to his guilt. It also betrayed his cowardice.”
“During Palparn’s reign as General, he used the power of the guns to intimidate innocent civilians. Now that the people are accusing Palparan by means of the law, he declares that he will not get justice. Palparan seems to be a coward for not facing the charges against him. He is sure that he will be found guilty”, according to Hontiveros.
Akbayan called on the public to be vigilant and help the authorities in providing information as to the whereabouts of Palparan. According to the group, “Palparan’s trial in the courts is an extension of the public’s campaign for accountability.”
“Palparan gave the Arroyo government one of the worst human rights records and sowed fear and terror in the hearts of ordinary civilians. We cannot allow such a dangerous man as Palparan to escape justice. He may no longer be in the armed service but his experience in committing atrocities and evading culpability means that our authorities cannot rest until he has been placed under the jurisdiction of the courts,” Hontiveros said.