Workers from the Southern Tagalog region under Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan – Kilusang Mayo Uno (Solidarity of Workers in Southern Tagalog – May First Movement or PAMANTIK-KMU) hails, in partiality, the capture of The Butcher, Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, 3 am this day, in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
After almost 3 years upon the release of his arrest warrant in 2011, Palparan was caught for two counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention cases. Jovito Palparan and 3 other military elements were suspects for the abduction of Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño, two student-activists from the UP Diliman campus, in 2006.
Counter-insurgency expertise led to thousands of killings and disappearances
Palparan, not just a plain kidnapper, is the instigator of thousands of human rights violations (HRVs) in the country, specifically in the Central Luzon, Eastern Visayas, and Southern Tagalog regions. In the duration of his deployment in the ST region in January of 2001 – December of 2003, he and his army has victimized over 4,493 individuals and 1,721 families in the 1,268 cases of human rights violations.
His record for liquidating the ranks of the activists in ST has been a precedent for his deployment in the other regions, as well as the counter-insurgency program, as a whole, in the Philippines. The sowing of terror brought about by The Butcher has intensified all throughout Gloria Arroyo’s regime. In his kind of work, The Butcher was even commended in GMA’s State of the Nation Address in 2006, stating his ‘goodwork’ in eliminating the threats to the laying of peace in the country.
Oplan Bantay Laya has strewn a highly instensified culture of impunity even amongst the workers’ ranks in ST. A number of ST workers in the long, excruciating duration of OBL I & II experienced massive HR violations. Among them are Diosdado Fortuna, Edward Panganiban, Jerry Cristobal, and many other victims of extra-judicial killings under the reign of Arroyo in the Palace and Palparan in the Philippine Army.
According to Luz Fortuna, regional coordinator of National Coalition for the Protection of Workers’ Rights (NCPWR) and wife to slained union-leader Diosdado “Ka Ding” Fortuna, “The death of a loved one is never an easy hurdle. The extra-judicial killing of our beloved Ka Ding brought us severe pain and we, our family and closest friends, almost lost the reason to live after his passing. But the fact that he died in the hands of heartless criminals only because he fights for the rights of the masses – that break our hearts the most. Under the infamy for crimes of Arroyo and Palparan, thousands of hearts were broken; thousands of families grieved for their lost and slaughtered loved ones. The Butcher should pay.”
The Butcher’s legacy continues under BS Aquino’s watch, arrest not done ‘in good faith’
On BS Aquino’s relieve in power, he promised to give justice to the numerous accounts of HR violations from the prior regime – but apparently, he extended the military operations in the OBL, then later on changed its name to Oplan Bayanihan, following the program of the former.
To make this statement into reality, the BS government allowed criminal cases, but only as shallow as kidnapping and illegal detention, to be filed against The Butcher in December 19, 2011 through the Malolos Bulacan Regional Trial Court. And to make the hunt, to then fugitive Palparan, look more serious – BS Aquino served a bounty amounting to PhP 2 million for his capture.
After almost 3 years of (supported) hiding, at 3:00 am today, August 12, 2014, in an ordinary house in Sta. Mesa, Manila, The Butcher boastfully came with his arresters, the enjoined forces of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to the former’s office.
Hermie Marasigan, PAMANTIK-KMU spokesperson, stated that, “This capture of The Butcher Palparan is long overdue dating from after every crime he has done to the people. The Southern Tagalog workers firmly believe that this arrest is not done ‘in good faith.’ This happened in time where BS Aquino’s trust ratings are flunking – he needed to win over, in a pathetic and desperate method, the reliance of the masses. While we rejoice above the captivity of The Butcher – the epitome of a human slayer – ST workers demand that this serial killer’s victims be given justice.”
The ST workers clarified that their claim for victory in this incident is partial. The Butcher is accountable for a heap of crimes such as EJKs, physical assaults, intensive torture, massacres, illegal arrests, and enforced disappearances, among many others. The 2 shallow cases filed against him is clearly an additional insult to injury, the fact that the victims who he kidnapped and illegally detained are still missing up to this moment, he should not get on with this easily. Justice should be served well.
“Palparan should pay. We won’t buy impeding appeal to emotions coming from him and his protectors. We know that in one day or another, The Butcher would plea for medical and/or other special treatments like how arrested government officials are experiencing. He should be in a regular cell, he should at least experience how it is to stay in a shabby, dark, cold, and life-lacking cell similar to where he usually keeps his captives.” Added Marasigan.
The Butcher’s legacy for trampling human rights still strides under the BS Aquino regime – cases of HRVs continue to run over the people. Under this BS government, the ST workers experienced the enforced disappearance of Benjamen Villeno, union leader and former PAMANTIK chairperson almost a year ago, August 27, 2013, and the recent killing of Gil Hernandez, former trade union organizer, last August 6, 2014.
Marasigan added that, “All the violators of human rights should pay for the crimes they have committed to the people. No one should be exempted, not The Butcher nor The President.”
ST workers will join in the coming protest actions in relation to the judgment of Palparan’s cases.