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By Conrado de Quiros
There were a couple of unrelated news items in the newspapers last weekend that, taken together, make an interesting proposition about life.
PRESIDENT AQUINO belittled Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño’s survey ratings while defending the human rights record of his administration in a Radio New Zealand interview. Migrante Sectoral Party (MSP)-New Zealand calls on the President to face the issues and do more to hold human rights violators accountable. It’s sad to hear that the President has [...]
Jovito Palparan may be in hiding, but the cases connecting him to a series of abductions and disappearances when he was an Army officer are progressing. The retired major general famously dubbed the “Butcher” by activists has made himself scarce, doubtless with the aid of powerful friends, since late last year when a judge ordered him arrested for the 2006 abduction and disappearance of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.
With a spokesperson like Edwin Lacierda, does President Aquino need enemies to cast his administration in a bad light?
A report in the Inquirer last April 15 said: “Nationwide manhunt on for Ecleo.” People with no more than a passing interest in the daily news might be forgiven if they assumed that Ruben Ecleo Jr., the Dinagat Island representative found guilty last week of the murder of his wife 10 years ago, had gone into hiding only recently, perhaps before or right after his conviction, hence the manhunt ordered by the Philippine National Police.
By Patricia Evangelista
Impunity is an odd word. There used to be a heaviness to it, an almost incomprehensibility. It was a word used by lawyers and diplomats and judges, it was not part of school reports or interviews with the media. It was too big to be effective in sound bites, too foreign for speeches and tomato-tossing rallies. Impunity, like genocide, was a word that had power. To say it is to claim a state of such savagery that to use it is in itself a call to arms.
Now it’s clear why extrajudicial killings are still committed with impunity in this benighted land of ours.
The bad language was a dead giveaway, betraying vacuousness, disinterest and fecklessness all in one blow. Asked why the administration had given the former governor of Palawan, Joel Reyes, and other suspects in the January 2011 murder of environmentalist and radio broadcaster Gerry Ortega until the weekend to surrender, in the face of an immediately [...]
By Conrado de Quiros
Ex-Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes says he won’t surrender. That’s what he told a radio station in Puerto Princesa through a recorded message from his hideout. He is not hiding “to run away from justice but to avoid the persecution, ridicule and accusations that are being thrown at me without basis.” He says he will answer the accusations against him “at the right time.”
By Patricia Evangelista
On Dec. 20, 2011, five years after University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño were abducted from Hagonoy, Bulacan, the Bulacan courts released a warrant for the arrest of retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. and three other officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. They were charged with two counts of abduction and serious illegal detention. It is the first time in recent history that officers of the AFP are being hunted down for human rights violations.
Progress Lawyers Network of Belgium urges the Philippine government to release all political prisoners and to institute criminal and administrative cases against major human rights violators like former President Gloria Arroyo and fugitive retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan. For many years, our organization has been monitoring the human rights situation in the Philippines, and our position against extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture and other forms of human rights violations under the previous administration has been consistently firm.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines, sounding aggrieved, recently challenged Human Rights Watch to name the military personnel the rights group has alleged are sheltering and coddling retired Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, who has not been seen since Dec. 19, 2011. On that day, while attempting to flee the country via the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport at Clark Freeport, Palparan was prevented by immigration personnel from leaving on the strength of a hold-departure order.