MANILA, Philippines – Fugitive general Jovito Palparan has sent surrender feelers to the Palace but with conditions.
A senior Camp Aguinaldo official told Rappler that Palparan has opened communication lines with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. The reliable source, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the case, said Gazmin relayed Palparan’s feelers to Malacañang last week.
A Palace source confirmed that President Benigno Aquino III is aware of such feelers but did not elaborate.
On Thursday, Dec 22, 2011, the President himself told reporters that the public can soon expect “positive results” on the manhunt for the retired general. “Let me not state a specific time frame but you will see positive results shortly,” the President said in a chance interview at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport where he welcomed returning Filipino migrant workers.
Here’s the catch: Palparan reportedly said he wanted to surrender only to one government official. Our source did not say who that official is, but hinted that this is what is delaying negotiations for the surrender.
“We don’t know when it’s going to happen,” the source said.
Highest ranking officer
Palparan is the highest ranking military officer to be charged in court over a human rights abuse case. Not even the President’s late mother, the late Corazon Aquino who was catapulted to power through an anti-dictatorship revolt, was able to charge or jail an officer for human rights abuses.
As early as 2007, a commission formed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recommended the investigation of Palparan for allegedlly abducting and killing political activists.
But Mrs Arroyo never acted on the recommendation. A year prior to that, in 2006, she openly praised the general in her state of the nation address. Palparan was then commander of the 7th infantry division based in Nueva Ecija, which is now “cleared” of communist guerrlla fronts.
On Dec 15, 2011, the Department of Justice announced it has found probable cause to charge Palparan with kidnapping and serious illegal detention for the reported abduction of two UP students, Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno.
Palparan tried to flee three days later but was stopped at the Clark International Airport by immigration authorities.
Furious, Palparan told Rappler then that “hiding” was an option for him. At the time they barred him from leaving, the hold departure order against him had already lapsed.
A Bulacan court however subsequently issued him an arrest warrant and a hold departure order.
On Friday, Dec 23, the National Bureau of Investigation rushed to Pampanga for the reported planned surrender of the fugitive. Palparan was a no-show. – Rappler.com