The people of Southern Tagalog will never forget the crimes of General Jovito Palparan

Patnubay de Guia
NDF-Southern Tagalog Region
December 29, 2011

There is no mistaking retired Major General Jovito Palparan as the butcher. Under his command, he perpetrated and encouraged the policy of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, illegal detention and other forms of human rights violations in Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon and Eastern Visayas.

The people of Southern Tagalog and the Filipino people will never forget the crimes of Gen. Jovito Palparan. Between January 27, 2001-December 3, 2003, there were 1,268 recorded cases of human rights violations victimizing 4,493 individuals and 1,721 families when Palparan headed the Joint Task Force Banahaw covering Laguna, 1st and 2nd districts of Quezon and Mindoro and later the 204th Brigade in Mindoro from 2000-2004. In the same period, Palparan’s henchmen committed 69 killings, 34 cases of indiscriminate firing, 68 cases of physical assault, 50 cases of torture, 92 illegal searches, 190 cases of coercion, 3 massacres, 251 cases of harassment, 75 unjustified arrests, 41 cases of illegal/arbitrary detention, 10 enforced disappearances, 54 forcible evacuations and 123 cases of destruction and divestment of property, to name a few.

There can be no subtle approach in recounting Palparan’s crimes against humanity. Although it brings pain and we grieve over the hundreds of innocent lives lost as manifestations of state repression and violence, there is no forgetting the gory images of human rights defenders, activists and civilians suspected as rebels and leftist symphatizers cold-bloodedly murdered under his command. A total of 41 victims of extrajudicial killings were committed in Oriental and Occidental Mindoro alone from 2001 to 2004, including those of Anakbayan member Ramon “Bong” Ternida and Anakpawis Provincial Coordinator Isaias Mañano of Calapan City in April 2001 and April 2004, respectively; couple Expedito and Manuella Albarillo of San Teodoro in April 2002; Karapatan Secretary General Eden Marcellana and KASAMA-Timog Katagalugan Chairperson Eddie Gumanoy in April 2003; Adrian Allegria of Mamburao in February 2004; and Naujan Vice Mayor Juvy Magsino and and human rights worker Leyma Fortu of Calapan City in February 2004.

Palparan’s notoriety extends to other regions such as Central Luzon when he headed the 7th Infantry Division that supervises the 24th Infantry Battalion assigned to Bataan and Zambales and the 56th Infantry Battalion assigned to Bulacan and Pampanga. One of the most notorious cases of human rights violations in Central Luzon is the abduction of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan along with farmer Manuel Meriño in Hagonoy, Bulacan in 2006. Until now, the three are still missing.

Then AFP Commander-in-Chief and former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo condoned, glorified and rewarded Palparan’s brutalities with medals and promotions.

Despite the preponderance of cases perpetrated by General Palparan and his men, it took the Aquino government's Department of Justice nearly a year and a half to find probable cause to charge him and his henchmen with two counts of kidnapping and illegal detention over the abduction of the UP students. Accordingly, the Malolos Bulacan Regional Trial Court Branch 14 issued an arrest warrant against Palparan and Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado, M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario and S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio on December 19, 2011.

The move to arrest and prosecute Palparan is long overdue. He, however, appears determined to evade judgement and punishment. It is totally unacceptable that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have failed to collar Palparan, considering the resources they have at their disposal. It would come as no surprise if Palparan is currently under the protection of the very institution that rewarded him for being a butcher.

This makes him an even more elusive and dangerous criminal.


Contact: National Democratic Front-Southern Tagalog Region
Email: flintglass019@yahoo.com