“Palparan’s practices are part of the military’s official policy. Palparan is only the most known but the implementation of the counterinsurgency program is systematic.” – Benito Tiamzon
By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA – Political prisoners are criticizing how the Aquino administration has been handling the case of retired Army Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. and demanded that Palparan be made to pay for his ‘capital crimes’ against the Filipino people.
Political prisoners detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) custodial center in Camp Crame and in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City branded Palparan as one of the “most notorious fascist butchers of social activists and innocent civilians.”
The 38 political prisoners who signed the two separate statements recalled how their colleagues became victims of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other human rights violations in areas where Palparan had been assigned. According to human rights alliance Karapatan, Palparan is accountable for 59 victims of enforced disappearances, 138 victims of extrajudicial killings, 35 cases of frustrated killings and 100 victims of torture during his stints as Army commander in Mindoro, Central Luzon and Eastern Visayas.
The political prisoners said Palparan is being given “lenient” treatment, noting how the retired military official was allowed to speak to the media several times.
Palparan was transferred to the Bulacan Provincial Jail only this morning August 18 after his arraignment despite an earlier court order remanding him to the said jail. The National Bureau of Investigation cited security reasons for not promptly complying with the court order.
In an interview, Wilma Tiamzon also noted how military officials praise Palparan. “To them, Palparan’s crimes are heroic deeds,” Tiamzon said.
Benito Tiamzon said the praises for Palparan is but an indication that the military hierarchy shares the same mindset as Palparan.
“Palparan’s practices are part of the military’s official policy. Palparan is only the most known but the implementation of the counterinsurgency program is systematic,” Tiamzon told Bulatlat.com in an interview.
Political prisoners said the following tactics they call as “Palparan model” continue to be implemented by the military:
-Population control through the imposition of curfew, food blockade, harassment, torture, illegal detention, series of abduction and brutal killings with the aim of terrorizing communities; torture of those abducted/arrested to force them into submission; treatment of people’s organizations and ordinary civilians as targets of counterinsurgency operations; military occupation of schools, communities and factories to conduct surveillance, propagate anti-communist hysteria and forcibly recruit individuals for anti-communist organizations; formation of death squads that kill members, leaders and perceived supporters of the New People’s Army.
According to political prisoners, the “Palparan model” is incomparable in gravity and barbarity in terms of violation of human rights.? “The Butcher Palparan and others like him are actually the ones who deserve to be in prison, and not we, who have all along been seeking to serve the people to the fullest,” they said.