DOJ TO PROBE PALPARAN JAIL INTERVIEW

Jailed retired Army general Jovito Palparan denounced the extent of influence held by Communist terrorist groups over influential areas of Philippine society.

A taped interview of the rabidly anti-communist Palparan, 71, was shown Wednesday in a news program of SNMI television network.

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) said it will investigate why the interview held in the New Bilibid Prison was allowed by the Bureau of Correction (BuCor).

The former commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division in Central Luzon has a pending criminal case for allegedly kidnapping Raymond Manalo at the Malolos Regional Trial Court Branch 19, even as he is serving his sentence, pending his appeal before the Court of Appeals, on his conviction by the Malolos RTC Branch 15 for his involvement in the abduction of two suspected members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in Hagonoy, Bulacan.

On December 15, 2011, Palparan was indicted for two counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention in connection with the abduction of still missing UP student activists, Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño in 2006.

 DOJ officials said they are still waiting for the formal report of the Bureau of Corrections (Bucor) to explain if prison rules had been breached in the grant of an interview to Palparan.

“I have requested Bucor to submit a written (report) on the matter, they will comply,” said DOJ Undersecretary Deo Marco on Friday, echoing an earlier statement by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

“As to grant of interviews, the rule is not clear. the court still has jurisdiction, but granting interviews may be considered an operational matter that Bucor may resolve by itself. We’ll check the existing Bucor operations manual,” Guevara said. 

Prior to his incarceration, Palparan represented the anti-communist party-list group Bantay in the House of Representatives.

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