ANGELES CITY, Philippines – The Army’s 7th Infantry Division, which retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan used to lead, has appealed to him to surrender to authorities and “take the opportunity of proving that he is not guilty of the accusations against him.”
In a statement, the 7th ID said, “The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) is a professional organization composed of disciplined and law-abiding soldiers.”
“It is not the policy of the AFP to provide safe harbor to any person wanted by law,” it added, apparently in reaction to reports that Palparan is being coddled by supporters in the military.
The 7th ID said it would inform authorities of any sighting of the fugitive retired general in their “duty assignments.”
But it added, “It would be better for Maj. Gen. Palparan to take the opportunity of proving that he is not guilty of the accusations against him.”
Palparan, who carries a P1-million reward for his capture, was commander of the 7th ID, also known as Kaugnay Division, from September 2005 until his retirement in September 2006. The 7th ID is based at Fort Magsaysay in Laur, Nueva Ecija.
The Bulacan court has tasked the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police to serve the arrest warrant for Palparan who, along with three other officers, was tagged in the disappearance of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan in 2005.
Also accused in the case were M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario, S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio and Col. Felipe Anotado. Osorio and Anotado are now under government custody, while Hilario is still at large.
Saying that at least 108 of its members and sympathizers were among the victims of Palparan, the Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson (AMGL) said it is joining the nationwide manhunt for the retired general.
“Palparan imposed the reign of terror in Central Luzon that implemented the countless extra-judicial killings of activists and supporters. He is indebted to farmers and various sectors of the region,” said AMGL chairman Joseph Canlas. -
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