Fugitive retired general Jovito Palparan is not being coddled by the military, said Philippine Army chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista.
Palparan is wanted on a court conviction over the abduction and disappearance of University of the Philippines student activists Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno.
He has been placed in the A-1 list of high-profile fugitives by the Philippine National Police along with Dinagat Congressman Ruben Ecleo, Jr., wanted for the murder of his wife Alona in 2006, and former Palawan governor Joel Reyes, who is alleged to have masterminded the assassination of slain broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega last year.
The military and police earlier said Palparan could be hiding in the Davao Region.
Bautista was in Davao City last week to preside over the turnover of command of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) from Lt. Gen. Arthur Tabaquero to Lt. Gen. Jorge Segovia.
The Army chief said soldiers have codes of conduct to follow that not even the brotherhood factor in the close-knit military could prevent the arrest of Palparan by fellow coldiers. Palparan is said to have very strong influence in the military despite his retirement.
But there is a problem: Palparan is already retired and no longer under control of the military, he said.
Bautista said however that the military would help police hunt down the retired general also accused by militant groups as behind summary xecutions of progressive leaders in his area of assignment when the rabidly anti-communist general was still in active service. ROGER M. BALANZA