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.
The Malolos Regional Trial Court (RTC) on Monday, September 17, 2018, found former Major General Jovito Palparan guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention related to the disappearance of University of the Philippines (UP) students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno in 2006.
The judgement was promulgated at the Malolos RTC before Judge Alexander Tamayo, the Inquirer reports.
Aside from Palparan, also found guilty of the crime were Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado, Jr. and Staff Sgt. Edgardo Osorio.
Palparan, Anotado and Osorio were sentenced to reclusion perpetua, or 20 years and one day to 40 years imprisonment, and were ordered to pay P100,000 for civil indemnity and P200,000 for moral damages for each count.
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
Speaker Prospero Nograles, who champions himself as a man of peace and protector of human rights, could be a man of violence willing to kill to achieve his political ambition.
This developed as members of an alleged assassination team surfaced here last week to bare plans to kill 16 supporters of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Vice Mayor Sara Duterte, who is running for mayor against Nograles.
Nograles, running without a party after the administration Lakas-Kampi-CMD disowned him, is losing badly in collated surveys in his third attempt to capture City Hall with Vice Mayor Duterte garnering from 80 to 90 percent. Mayor Duterte is backed up with the same ratings in the vice mayoral race against Benjamin de Guzman, Nograle’s running mate.
Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, the party of Mayor Duterte, said the slay plot may have “unearthed the evil side of the desperate Nograles who could resort to violence like assassination and terrorism to achieve his ambition to be mayor.”
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“It is ironic that Nograles has been criticizing City Hall for its alleged tolerance of extrajudicial killings when in fact he may even do the most devious to silence Dabawenyos who do not bite the clearly vague leadership he is selling,” said Hugpong.
Seven grenades reportedly had been readied for the slay plot, alleged to have been hatched up at the Nograles-owned Royal House Hotel, that included former city administrator Wendel Avisado and retired Army Colonel Yussuf Jemlani and barangay captains.
We dread what Nograles could do against barangay captains who are not supporting him if he wins this election. We thought his violent tendencies are focused only in harassing and filing libel against the press,” said Hugpong. “Now we know that he could be capable of hiring armed goons to silence his critics, if the confessions of the liquidation group is to be believed.”
Earlier, a barangay captain identified with the Dutertes evaded an assassination by a gunman who fired a dud bullet. Two grenades without safety pins were also planted near a barangay hall and the rest house barangay captain. Prior to that at the start of the campaign, a dozen barangay captains reported receiving death threats on their cxellphones.
In what is seen as another looming incidents of violence, the plotters named retired Army general Bantay Partylist Rep. Jovito Palparan, Anad Partylist Rep. Pastor “Jun” Alcover and retired police General Eduardo Matillano.
Palparan, Alcover and Matillano are widely known as supporters of Nograles. The alleged plotters claim they were hired by Bantay and Anad operatives.
Jemlani, former executive officer of Task Force Davao and now chief of the City Canal Maintenance Unit, said he had no doubt Palparan, Alcover and Matillano were behind the plan to sow violence in the city.
Elections in Davao City have never been violent until they came, said Jemlani. What are they doing here? Based on their past statements and actions, they are out to sow trouble and violence here, he said in an interview with anchorman Allan Abais in the ABS/CBN DXAB program Banat.
On Wednesday, Avisado filed information to abort the violence with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) based on affidavit executed by several members of the alleged assassination plot.
The military have warned retired Army general Jovito Palparan against creating trouble in Davao City by forming his own anti-communist Barangay Defense System (BDS) believed would be used as a vehicle to terrorize supporters of Vice Mayor Inday Sara Duterte and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to turn their votes in favor of Speaker Prospero Nograles.
ANAD partylist representative Jun Alcover, meanwhile, has been assailed by rank-and-file members of the anti-communist partylist group for dumping officially designated nominees and replacing them with his relatives.
Palparan, Bantay partylist representative and running for senator, and Alcover have been openly campaigning here for Nograles against Vice Mayor Inday Sara Duterte in the mayoral race.
Gen. Eduardo del Rosario had warned Palparan he would be arrested if he continues to form his own units of the BDS, tagged by the military and police as illegal without government sanction.
BDS units, a self-help community defense helping police and military in the peace and order campaign, are already in place in villages here. But Palparan and Alcover, along with several media personalities identified with Nograles, have been forming their own BDS, disguised as anti-communist, apparently to help carry the campaign of Nograles.
As part of the propaganda machine of Nograles, Palparan and Alcover have been accusing Mayor Duterte of being friendly with communist rebels leading to alleged growing strength of the movement. They also charged Mayor Duterte of promoting communism and ushering its entry into the local government by having left-leaning candidates under the Hugpong slate.
“You are now a civilian. You are no longer part of the military. Try to make trouble here and I will have you arrested,” a source who asked he not be named quoted an irate del Rosario as telling Palparan during a meeting following reports he and Alcover, and a military officer assigned to the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), have been forming their own unauthorized BDS, which has drawn complaints from barangay captains who head the BDS.
Dabawenyos have accused Palparan and Alcover painting an image of the city as rebel-infested while the business community said Nograles, through his supporters Palparan and Alcover, has been shaming the city before investors.
Palparan’s and Alcover’s public statements against the city’s peace and order have earned them a condemnation from the Davao City Council, which declared them as ‘persona non grata.”
Communist insurgency exists in the city’s far-flung districts but had no presence in the city proper.
In Cebu City, ANAD officers and members slammed Alcover for his sham anti-communist posturing for adopting dictatorial processes in choosing nominees of his partylist group to Congress.
The anti-communist Alcover has himself become a communist by picking the nominees, who are his relatives, without benefit of a general assembly, said David Odilao, Jr., ANAD vice chairman.
ANAD held a general assembly in Cebu City last month and picked as first nominee Odilao, second nominee Liborio Hangao, founder and grandmaster of Guardians, third nominee Alexander Canonigo of Sta. Cruz, Manila, fourth nominee retired Army General Bernardo Mabagu from Luzon, and fifth nominee Herminigildo Gonzaga of Agdao, Davao City.
But Alcover questioned the leadership of Odilao and the nominees elected in the general assembly and picked his own nominees with himself as the lead nominee, followed by Balter Balangawan of Bohol, Pastor “Jongjong” Alcover II of Cebu City, Roel Arnoldo Dagooc of Zamboanga and Domingo Balang of Bohol.
Odilao said Alcover’s nominees are his relatives. He said ANAD is now on the route to disunity under the leadership of Alcover.
Even as he was a late-comer in the Alsa Masa phenomenon in the early 80s in Davao City, Alcover, a broadcaster from Cebu, joined the local broadcast media and converted his anti-communist crusade into a vehicle to break up militant labor groups in companies here and replaced them with moderates he formed. Alcover is also said to have made a pile using the Alsa Masa in cornering janitorial and security services in companies he freed from militant labor groups like the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).
As the Alsa Masa spread nationwide, the business-savvy Alcover followed its trail, gaining more companies he provided with labor, janitorial and security services after dismantlng militant labor groups in these companies.
After the EDSA, he joined the Nationalism Alliance for Democracy (NAD), formed by Davao City anti-communist groups, which was made a conduit for government rehabilitation fund for rebel returnees under the National Reconciliation and Development Program (NRDP). Alcover would later control NAD, later probed on how it handled the fund. In 2004, Alcover fielded NAD as a partylist but was disqualified. The anti-communist group would later become the ANAD which won a seat in the 2007 elections Alcover as first nominee.
Even as he proclaims himself as the “Son of God,” international televangelist Pastor Apollo Quiboloy is holding his punches and will not be using divine powers to drive away two anti-communist personalities he accused of creating trouble in the city.
Pastor Quiboloy, head of the millions-strong Jesus Christ The Name Above Every Name congregation, instead is leaving it to the military and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to handle the “exorcism” of retired general Jovito Palparan and Jun Alcover.
Palparan of the partylist Bantay and Alcover of Anad have been accused of giving public statements assailing the city’s peace and order campaign, in what is seen as propaganda against Vice Mayor Inday Sara Duterte and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Pastor Quiboloy, a friend of Mayor Duterte, has now joined the public clamor to have Palparan and Alcover, who had publicly expressed their support for Nograles’ mayoral bid against Inday Sara.
The military and Comelec should arrest these people who are creating trouble in the city, said Pastor Quiboloy, who earlier had trained his guns at Nograles.
In a bid to stir up chaos and assail the city’s peace and order, Palparan and Alcover, earlier declared as persona non grata by the Davao City, Council, had blamed Mayor Duterte and the New People’s Army for the killing of two alleged supporters of Bantay and Anad.
Mayor Duterte and the communist rebels have denied involvement in the abduction and killing of the two victims from Calinan whose bodies were separately found in Igacos City and Davao del Sur.
If I would kidnap anybody, I would instead kidnap Palparan and Alcover and not the campaigners, said the mayor. Palparan is running for senator as an independent, while Alcover is campaigning for a seat for his partylist group.
Earlier, Pastor Quiboloy blamed Nograles for a report by a Church-backed poll watchdog which tagged him as a “flying voter.”
He also said Nograles was behind a probe by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on his church’s finances and and an aborted raid in his Prayer Mountain in Tamayong for loose firearms.
A retired Army general supporting Speaker Prospero Nograles’ mayoral bid is stirring up an anti-communist hysteria to create chaos in Davao City.
The recent killing of the two supporters of retired Major General Jovito Palparan might be part of a plot to draw up a scenario of unrest in Davao City and stir more anti-communist hysteria, said a human rights monitoring group.
Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said Palparan may have a hand in the killings to spark hatred for the mayor.
Barug Katungod Mindanao convenor Professor Mae Fe Templa said the abduction and eventual death of two members of Palparan’s Bantay Party-list came at the height of verbal attacks initiated by Palparan and his ally, Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD) Party-list Rep. Pastor Alcover, against officials of the city government and progressive party-list groups and their supporters.
“That is what Palparan and his minions wanted — for violence to erupt in Davao,” Templa said.
“With Palparan’s atrocious record for human rights violations and attacks against the progressive groups, (we fear) this would lead to disenfranchisement of local residents and leaders and members of progressive organizations as witch hunting follows,” she added.
Juliana Noquera and Ronald Miranda, who had been campaigning for Bantay Party-list, were abducted in Calinan district on March 24. Their bodies were found in separate areas on March 26.
Miranda’s body, which was tied to a hydraulic jack and had 11 stab wounds, was found in Sitio Baybay, Barangay Panggubatan in Kaputian District, Island Garden City of Samal on Good Friday.
Noquera’s body, which was found the same day, was buried in a shallow grave along the shoreline of Sitio Mamacao, Barangay Kisulad in Sta. Maria, Davao del Sur.
Both Bantay and ANAD had issued statements accusing Duterte of the abductions and killings.
But Templa said Palparan, who is now running for a Senate seat, “has been labeled ‘the butcher’ as he was blamed for the killings and disappearances of activists, peasants, lawyers, and members of progressive organizations in Central Luzon, Mindoro and Eastern Visayas where he used to control as a military official.”
“Human rights groups have blamed Palparan for the death of 39 people in Southern Tagalog Region from 2001 to 2003, 25 in Eastern Visayas in 2005, and 77 in Central Luzon in 2006. All victims were civilians suspected of being members or sympathizers of the communist movement. Many of them were human rights defenders for farmers, women, fisher-folk, students and victims of human rights violations,” Templa said.
“These are the same people whose lives are endangered because of the presence of Palparan and the monstrosity that he is capable of doing. He is a person who cannot distinguish the difference between an armed rebel from a farmer and an activist. He is a very, very dangerous man,” she added.
“Palparan’s hands are stained with the blood of innocent civilians. The butcher is instrumental to the country’s long record of violations of human rights, with him being the attack dog of the Arroyo administration against people who are critical of her administration. And his role as the attack dog continues now,” she said.
Templa said Barug Katungod will alert international election monitoring groups of the increasing incidents of electoral violence and terrorism in Mindanao.
Barug Katungod Mindanao is a consortium of various human rights groups including the Initiatives for Peace in Mindanao, Kusog sa Katawhang Lumad sa Mindanao (Kalumaran), and Kawagib Moro Human Rights Alliance.