Press Release – The statement issued by the New York-based international human rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) that some military personnel and business owners are protecting retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan validates one of the lingering apprehensions of the victims’ families and human rights defenders as well as the general public at large.
“If true, then Palparan’s handlers and coddlers will have to be sued as shameless accessories,” Atty. Edre Olalia, Secretary General of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, said in response to the HRW statement. “They are not only condoning the heinous and beastly crimes he and his roving band are being charged with, but are perpetuating impunity,” Atty. Olalia added.
The arrest warrant against Gen. Palparan and three other military personnel was issued by the Malolos Regional Trial Court on December 19, 2011. After a month of manhunt by government law enforcement agencies and after a P1-million bounty has been put up for his capture, the actual whereabouts of the retired general are yet to be known. Palparan’s co-accused and sidekick M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario is also still at large.
“PNoy must pay more attention and give priority to the affairs of the state. The victims and families have been waiting for justice for the longest time. He should give a clearer, stronger and firmer directive as the supposed Commander-in-Chief to locate, arrest and hale Palparan to court,” Atty. Olalia said.
“There are prevalent doubts from the victims and their families whether the Pnoy administration itself has in fact made any serious, systematic and concrete effort to initiate the effective and genuine investigation and prosecution of human rights violators of the past and the present. Meanwhile, several other victims will, on their own, persist to throw the book at Gen. Palparan and his kind for the most horrific rights violations,” Atty. Olalia added.
“The statement of Human Rights Watch forebodes the renewed alarm, concern and even frustration of international groups and the international community about the continuing impunity for rights violations in the country,” he pointed out.
The NUPL is the private prosecutor in the case of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention against Gen. Palparan and his co-accused, involving the disappearance of UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan. The NUPL is also the counsel of human rights victims Raymond Manalo, Oscar Leuterio, Melissa Roxas, Ericson Acosta, and the Morong 43 health workers, among others. #
Reference: Atty. Edre U. Olalia, NUPL Secretary General, +639175113373
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