Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Transfering Palparan is Like Setting Him Free
Lament, dismay and widespread condemnation greeted a Bulacan court’s decision to transfer former Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan from the Bulacan provincial jail to detention under the eyes of his comrades in the military.
In a statement, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) chairperson Elmer Labog condemned the move, saying it was a form of “special treatment” for the controversial military official linked to the disappearance of activists during the previous administration.
“Transferring Palparan to an AFP camp is like setting him free,” Labog said
“The special treatment given by the Aquino government proves that it has no intention at all of giving justice to Palparan’s victims and of punishing those who have committed human rights violations in the past,” he added.
The Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) lamented Palparan’s transfer to a military detention center.
“We lament the decision of the Malolos RTC to transfer General Palparan to the custody of the military institution from the provincial jail,” said Nardy Sabino, PCPR secretary general.
Sabino said the transfer “displays the dominance of military rule over a civilian supremacy.”
The PCPR official said victims of human rights should be the ones being secured by the government and not the violators.
“We demand that security be given to the human rights victims and their family and not to the violators,” he said.
Cristina Palabay, secretary-general of Karapatan, said the Aquino regime and the Armed Forces of the Philippines will never ever allow the likes of Palparan to be jailed, “because the arrest and jailing of Palparan is an indictment of the whole AFP, which abounds with Palparan clones.”
Palabay added that the Aquino regime does not care for the safety and security of its citizens, citing the pervading criminality and 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,” Palabay said.
Atty. Edre U. Olalia, National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) secretary general, said Palparan’s transfer to a detention center run by the military is a big mistake.
“If we allow the highest military officer ever to be criminally indicted and arrested for very serious human rights violations to just come ‘home,’ we miss the singular opportunity to show and prove to all and sundry that the system still really works after all,” Olalia said.
He said that like a vacationing retiree surfing for the best holiday spot, Palparan is seeking to impose his choice of where to stay and insisting on military facilities.
“In court, he practically went on fickle flip-flopping shopping for a detention of his liking, first proposing the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), then the ISG/Philippine Army Custodial Center, then the PNP Custodial Center, and now the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces (ISAFP) Custodial Center. What, pray tell, will stop him from seeking custody at the General Headquarters of the AFP in the end?” Olalia said.
“Palparan’s dithering disrespects and trivializes the legal processes and betrays what little reverence he places on judicial processes. How he seeks to be detained in military facilities, clothed with the same impunity which licensed him to abuse power and commit acts as charged, is just like coming home, complete with virtual bodyguards. We would have gone full circle if this is countenanced under any guise or excuse,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malacanang said it respects the court’s decision to transfer Palparan to a military detention center at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the court may have its reasons for transferring Palaparan.
“First of all, the court may have decided on peculiar reasons or, rather, unique reasons for issuing the transfer,” Lacierda said.
“Perhaps those concerns were raised before the Malolos Court, and based on that, they decided to change the place of detention of General Palaparan,” he said.
Lacierda also said the Palace is not against the transfer of Palparan.
“If it will help secure the safety of General Palparan, if it will help ensure that the trial will continue against General Palparan, then we certainly respect [the decision]… We’d have nothing to say against the Malolos court,” he said.
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