Mothers of missing UP students to Palparan: ‘You’re a coward’

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The mothers of two missing students of the University of the Philippines on Thursday called former military general Jovito Palparan a coward for asking the Malolos City court not to transfer him to a regular jail in Bulacan province, but to allow his detention at the jail of the National Bureau of Investigation.

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“Duwag si Palparan, sinungaling pa [Palparan is a coward and a liar],” Linda Cadapan and Connie Empeno, mothers of Sherlyn and Karen, respectively, said.

“Sinabi niyang handa siyang makulong kahit saan. Pero ngayon, gusto na naman niyang suwayin ang korte. Maalala na noong bago ibaba ang warrant kay Palparan, sinabi rin niyang handa siyang harapin ang mga kasong isinampa. Sa halip pinagtaguan niya ito nang tatlong taon [He said he is prepared to be jailed anywhere. But now, he is again defying the court order. Before the warrant of arrest against Palparan came out, he said he is ready to face his charges. Instead he went into hiding for almost three years],” the two mothers said.

“Sakaling payagan ang mosyon ni Palparan, mukhang lumalabo na naman ang hustisyang hinahangad namin [The justice we are seeking becomes dim again should Palparan’s motion be granted],” Mrs. Cadapan and Mrs. Empeño added.

Palparan’s lawyers, in a ex-parte motion, also on Thursday asked the Malolos Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Bulacan to let him stay at the NBI detention cell.

Judge Teodora Gonzalez of Malolos RTC Branch 14 on Wednesday ordered Palparan’s transfer to the Bulacan Provincial Jail.

Palparan is facing kidnapping with serious illegal detention charges in connection with the disappearance of the two UP students in 2006 in Hagonoy, Bulacan.

The former military general was arrested in Santa Mesa, Manila, on Tuesday morning and was brought to the NBI.

Lawyers said Palparan is a high-risk detainee and he is better kept under tight security at the NBI.

President Benigno Aquno 3rd said the berdugo (butcher) days of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are over.

In his speech during ceremonial distribution of assault rifles in Camp Aquinaldo in Quezon City, Aquino added that a transformed military with modern equipment is now respected by the people.

“Kung dati, kinakatakutan ang inyong hanay bilang mga berdugo, ngayon, ginagalang at pinagkakatiwalaan kayo bilang mga tunay na kabalikat ng sambayanang Pilipino [While in the past you were seen as butchers, now you are being respected and trusted as true partners of the Filipino people],” Aquino told government troops.

“Tinatapatan natin ng modernong kagamitan ang husay ng mga sundalo [We are purchasing modern equipment to match the performance of our soldiers],” he said.

The President noted that Palparan’s arrest meant that victims of alleged human rights violations can finally attain justice.

“Nahuli na ang isa sa mga most wanted sa Pilipinas, at ngayon ay dadaan na sa tama at makatarungang proseso, para tumugon sa mga alegasyon ng pang-aabuso laban sa kanya [One of the most wanted fugitives in the Philippines was arrested and will now face due process to answer accusations of abuse against him],” he said.

Palparan, infamously labeled as berdugo [butcher]for his alleged involvement in the killings and disappearances of political activists, was arrested on Tuesday after hiding for three years.

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