“He might try to run away again and never to be found.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – The mothers of the disappeared University of the Philippines students welcomed a Bulacan court’s junking of a motion by retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. to leave his custodial center to go to the Commission on Elections office (Comelec) in Taguig City.
“Tama lang yun,” both Concepcion Empeño and Erlinda Cadapan quipped when asked for a reaction.
Empeño said Palparan, who had gone into hiding for nearly three years until he was arrested last year, is a flight risk.
“He might try to run away again and never to be found,” she said.
Palparan is currently detained at the Philippine Army Custodial Center despite strong opposition from human rights groups and the mothers of the disappeared, who said he should be in a regular jail.
On Sept. 30, Palparan’s lawyer Narzal Mallares filed a motion to allow Palparan to go to the Comelec’s office for his biometrics.
Mallares also manifested before the court, and told media after the hearing, that Palparan, accused of rampant human rights violations under former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, is mulling to run for a seat in the senate in the 2016 elections.
Last Friday, Oct. 9, the Bulacan Regional Trial Court Branch 15 denied the motion, citing the Comelec’s satellite registration for detainees that would no longer require him to leave his detention cell.
The mothers, through their lawyers from the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), earlier opposed Palparan’s motion.
In a joint statement, NUPL lawyers Edre Olalia and Josalee Deinla said Palparan misled the court in his motion that he has yet to register his biometrics when he already had.
“Is he running or is he just running?” the statement read.
Olalia and Deinla said they “will not be a party to his seeming delusional aspirations at the expense of public funds and resources. For him, there will be no special privilege and no media mileage.”