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MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III said on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011, that the public can soon expect “positive results” on the manhunt for retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, who has gone in hiding after being charged with kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
Asked whether he is confident of Palparan’s arrest, Mr. Aquino said in a chance interview at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 where he welcomed returning Filipino migrant workers, “Let me not state a specific time frame but you will see positive results shortly.”
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a news briefing at the Palace press area that the government is “very optimistic that we would be able to apprehend General Palparan.”
“Right now…the task force is now doing its job of locating General Palparan and this includes both the PNP [National Police] and the NBI [National Bureau of Investigation],” Lacierda said.
Responding to questions, Lacierda said that the government remains hopeful that Palparan would heed calls to surrender.
“We are still hopeful that he will decide to surrender and it will make life easier for all of us….That’s why we have called on General Palparan to surrender to the authorities,” he said.
Lacierda said Palparan is believed to be still in the country, and though all exit points have been alerted, he urged the citizenry to help authorities keep him from leaving should he make another attempt.
No AFP help
In Camp Aguinaldo, the Armed Forces said it is not helping in the manhunt for retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan who has gone into hiding after a Bulacan court ordered him arrested.
AFP spokesperson Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos said soldiers will only help in the search for Palparan, former commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division, if requested by the courts, civilian authorities or law enforcement agencies.
“In as far as the manhunt operations, we (military) are not involved because there are agencies of government that are involved…We are not involved in the manhunt operations,” Burgos said in a phone interview. “However, if requested by the Philippine National Police, just like in law enforcement we’re doing, we are always ready to assist and extend necessary assistance and if ordered by court and higher civilian authorities, we will extend assistance,” said Burgos.
Palparan is facing kidnapping charges for the abduction of two UP students in 2006.
Despite an arrest warrant issued against him, Palparan remains at large. Two of his co-accused have already surrendered to the police.
On Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2011, the same Bulacan court issued a hold departure order against the retired general, who tried to leave for Singapore early this week but was stopped by immigration authorities. – Rappler.com