Palparan: ‘I don’t want to die in the hands of the enemy’
MANILA, Philippines – Retired Major General Jovito Palparan said on Tuesday, August 12, that his security while in detention is his “only concern” and that he would be willing to be jailed anywhere – even in a barangay facility – for so long as he would not fall in the “hands of the enemy.”
Palparan, who claimed to have lost 35 pounds while on the run from 2011 until his arrest that day, also said in an interview with dzMM that he will seek a medical check-up but not hospital arrest unless his condition "worsens.”
He said that even if he should have a heart condition, which he didn’t indicate he had, he could remain in an ordinary, well-secured jail, and that he is more concerned about his security. He said safety concerns had prompted him to heed his family’s advice not to surrender earlier to authorities.
“Even if I were to have a heart condition, I can take it. But my [concern] is my security. I don’t want to die in the hands of the enemy. That is my only main concern,” Palparan said.
Palparan did not specify who his "enemy" is but was apparently referring to communist rebels as he headed the counterinsurgency campaign under the Arroyo administration from 2001 to 2006. (READ: TIMELINE: The search for Jovito Palparan)
The retired general and 3 other military personnel are charged with two counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention in connection with the 2006 abduction of students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno.
Palparan said he wants to be in a secure facility not only for himself but for his family members, who worry about his safety. Palparan said he only “gets emotional” when his children worry about him.
“I can be detained anywhere, under any condition. I don’t need special treatment,” he said.
Palparan also said he could have surrendered earlier, as he believed he could win in “impartial” proceedings, but was prevailed upon by his family due to security concerns.
No hospital arrest
Palparan – who believed his weight had dropped from 135 pounds to “under” 100 pounds during his 3-year run from the law – said he is suffering from joint and hip pains, and a bad “pulled muscle” on his back that limits his movement, but added that these would only require a medical check-up and not enough hospital arrest.
“I am requesting the NBI for a check-up to know my condition, but I have no illness that needs hospital arrest…I don’t need any hospital arrest and I wouldn’t want it unless my condition worsens. I will not ask for hospital arrest or house arrest because it will be perceived as special treatment,” he said.
Palparan said once his weight loss “is addressed,” he “can go anywhere.” He said the psychological stress of hiding from the law had triggered his weight loss.
Responding to questions, he said he moved from one place to another, but remained in Metro Manila. He denied suspicions that he had stayed in Camp Aguinaldo, and said he “didn’t reach Bulacan,” which is covered by the 7th Infantry Division which he used to head.
Palparan said he decided not to head to Bulacan as he “didn’t want to involve other people.”
“Many [wanted to help] but I didn’t go to Bulacan,” Palparan said.
In an interview with Radyo 5, Palparan said, he did not consider leaving the country as he did not have the resources to sustain it.
“That would have required too much extra effort. I don’t have money for that, unlike other [fugitives]. Who can I depend on there? That was not an option for me, to go out of the country,” Palparan said.
He said he managed to evade the law for 3 years until the government’s prophecy came true – he made a mistake and got caught. Palparan also said he had a "time frame" for his surrender but he was found "prematurely."
The retired general commended the NBI for his “professional” arrest as if it had been bungled, he could have been killed in the process.
Palparan declined to comment on the identity or the nature of his relationship with the woman who was seen with him at the time of his arrest, saying he would have to consult his lawyer about it.
Watch the presscon by Palparan below.
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- Eat Palparan all day, every day
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