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Surrender is Palparan’s best option

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Communists have threatened to take him into custody

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said on Tuesday, February 7, that surrendering to authorities would be the “best option” for retired Brig Gen Jovito Palparan in the wake of the pronouncement of communist rebels that they are looking for him.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte told reporters that if Palparan surrenders to state authorities, he would be given due process and his security would be protected, which is unlikely to happen if the New People’s Army gets to him first.

On whether it would be better for Palparan to surrender in view of the development, Valte said, “Considering what the other alternatives are in light of recent events, yes, to surrender will be his best option because the government has assured that his rights will be fully protected as well his security.”

When asked, Valte said that the NPA’s manhunt for Palparan would complicate the government’s own efforts to track down the retired military general, who is facing kidnapping and serious detention charges.

“It will certainly complicate matters because…the manhunt so to speak is ought to be purely a law enforcement matter. It should be the law enforcement components of the state that…has the authority to undertake the manhunt and as such should be left to it,” she said.

In a statement last Friday, February 3, the Communist Party of the Philippines said it had authorized all NPA units, including people’s militias, to “to take General Palparan into custody or do battle with him should he put up violent resistance.”

The CPP had said that Palparan would face a people’s court that would render “the appropriate verdict.”

Human right groups have called Palparan “Butcher” and “Gloria’s Berdugo,” due to the number of extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses in areas where he was assigned when he was still an Army commander.

Only recently, the Human Rights Watch challenged President Aquino to exert more effort in putting Palparan behind bars.

In December, Palparan was charged with kidnapping and serious illegal detention in connection with the disappearance of students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño, and disappeared shortly after that.

The government has tried to hasten his arrest by offering a P1-million bounty for information leading to his arrest, and through the deployment of tracker teams that remain unsuccessful.

Malacañang had earlier urged Palparan to surrender. –

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