After several years of hiding, retired military general Jovito Palparan Jr. was finally captured early this morning in a slum area in Sta Mesa, Manila.
A gaunt, heavily-bearded Palparan was collared by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) at 3 a.m. He was immediately whisked off to the NBI headquarters in Manila.
The general, called the “butcher” by militant groups because of the many human rights cases he was implicated to while he was the commander of the 7th Infantry Division in Central Luzon, is facing criminal charges for the abduction of University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno in June, 2006. He has a P2 million bounty on his head.
Palparan went into hiding after his indictment for two counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention on Dec. 15, 2011. Two of his co-accused—Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado Jr. and Sgt. Edgardo Osorio — surrendered, while another, Sgt. Rizal Hilario, remains at large.
Palparan was also implicated in the abduction and disappearance of Jonas Burgos on April 28, 2007. However, only Maj. Harry Baliaga Jr. was ordered arrested by a Quezon City regional trial court in connection with Burgos’ kidnapping.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said NBI agents started monitoring Palparan on Monday.
Two persons were with the former Bantay Party-list representative when he was arrested, including the owner of the house where he stayed. Both were also taken to the NBI.
In a press briefing, de Lima said Palparan will have his day in court.
The former general’s arrest also pleased Malacanang.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Palparan’s arrest was a “fulfillment” of President Benigno Aquino’s promise to bring all fugitives behind bars.
“President Aquino promised that those who evade the law will be found. That promise to capture Palparan has been fulfilled today,” Lacierda said in a statement.
He also commended the NBI for its “steadfast doggedness in pursuing all leads to find and capture Palparan.”