Justice Secretary Leila de Lima appealed to the retired general to surrender and face the charges against him.
MANILA, Philippines – Shortly after the government launched a manhunt against retired Army general Jovito Palparan, the Malolos regional trial court issued a hold departure order against the man called “the butcher” by human rights activists.
Judge Teodora Gonzales issued the hold departure order on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011, following a motion filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Dec.19. The DOJ had asked the lower court to bar Palparan from leaving the country after prosecutors found probable cause to charge him and three others with kidnapping and illegally detaining UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño.
The two were allegedly abducted by the military in 2006 on suspicion that they are part of the communist New People’s Army. The two were reportedly detained in safehouses which were reportedly under the supervision of the Army’s 7th infantry division, headed by then Maj. Gen. Palparan.
Palparan is the highest ranking general in history to be charged in court over allegations of human rights abuse. He gained notoriety under the Arroro adminisration as the miltary then stepped up its operations in urban communities.
Palparan told Rappler.com on Dec.20 that “hiding is an option,” hours after an arrest warrant was issued against him and the following: Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado Jr., S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio, and M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario. Osorio and Anotado surrendered to the police on Dec.20, but Hilario, like Palparan, remains at large.
DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima said that Palparan should face the charges filed against him.
“May I appeal to him that he should surface, must surface and submit himself to authorities,”. “Mag-surrender na siya…Akala ko ba hindi siya mag-re-resist, akala ko ba haharapin niya itong kaso na ito?” she said.
Malacañang made the same call. “While he no longer has men under his command, and while he can no longer behave with impunity, it is incumbent upon Mr. Palparan to submit to the authorities and face the charges in court. We would hope that he will face the music and face the charges. Surrender now,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.
He said Palparan “formerly so bold and brazen, and lavishly coddled by the former administration, is now a fugitive from justice.”
“Come out, come out wherever you are,” Lacierda urged Palparan.- Rappler.com