MALACAÑANG on Wednesday admitted that former military general Jovito Palparan sent surrender feelers to President Benigno Aquino 3rd more than a year ago but that the latter rejected it for reasons known only to him.
In a news briefing, its spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino mentioned Palparan’s offer at the time when suspected pork barrel scam brains Janet Lim-Napoles was offering to give herself up.
“I think the President mentioned it [Palparan surrender] before. Remember the reason why he decided to accept the surrender of Janet Napoles to him? Because there were feelers that were presented to him before to, not directly but through intermediaries, that General Palparan would like to surrender to him,” Lacierda added.
He, however, said “no action was taken.”
“He [Aquino] already mentioned that. It was only in the wake of the surrender feelers also of Janet Napoles. There was a discussion [on should the President]accept the surrender of Janet Napoles at that point because there were feelers sent by General Palparan,” Lacierda added.
The Palace official explained that when he presented the idea of Napoles surrendering to the President, Aquino blurted out that Palparan made the same gesture but he rejected it.
“Noon, dati, may feelers si General Palparan. Hindi ko tinanggap [Then, Palparan sent feelers. I did not accept],” Lacierda quoted the President as saying.
He said Aquino weighed his options on whether to accept Napoles’ surrender by comparing it to Palparan’s offer.
“He wanted to avoid the similar situation of Palparan where Napoles might try to evade the law if he did not accept her surrender feelers,” Lacierda added.
He said Palparan’s offer came much earlier than that of Napoles.
Napoles surrendered to President Aquino after issuance of an arrest warrant against her in connection with the serious illegal detention case filed by Benhur Luy, the principal witness in the pork barrel scam.
Lacierda reportedly arranged Napoles’ surrender upon request of lawyer Lorna Kapunan, his friend.
Palparan was arrested before dawn on Tuesday in Santa Mesa, Manila. He faces charges of kidnapping and possibly murder in connection with the disappearance of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan.