Method in the madness: Is he running or is he running? | Inquirer Opinion

Method in the madness: Is he running or is he running?

/ 12:10 AM October 08, 2015

In his request for permission to leave Fort Bonifacio purportedly to process his voter registration at the Commission on Elections, retired general Jovito Palparan Jr., one of the accused in a criminal case for the disappearance of UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño, is trying to do a number of mad things.

Palparan is misleading the court into thinking that he is yet to undergo biometrics procedures when, in fact, he already has; and he claims that as a detainee he is being deprived of the right to exercise his right to suffrage during detention when he is not.


He has at the same time declared that he is poised to run again—for a second shot at a senatorial seat in next year’s elections. What a nuisance.

But then, Palparan, having succeeded in his scheme to be detained in a place of his choice and convenience (in his old stomping grounds no less), will not submit himself to procedures prescribed for the multitude of detention prisoners wanting to participate in the electoral process, including political prisoners who are languishing in prisons and jails on fabricated criminal charges.


Maybe because he believes himself to be a class different from the rest. He probably thinks he is more qualified to vote and be voted for since he has friends in high places, the military’s backing and protection, and the wherewithal to tweak the system in his favor. Unlike the others, he has grandiose political ambitions.

This method in Palparan’s madness apparently runs on the delusion that he will fare better in his renewed bid for high office, and that he is in the first place a viable choice for the electorate where public trust is a cardinal virtue.

Is he running or is he just running?

He bizarrely believes that the serious charges of his cold-blooded crimes against humanity, his admitted penchant for legal shortcuts against his innocent targets, and his evasion of the law for nearly three years have been forgotten. He has perhaps even deluded himself into believing that his “butcher” moniker will actually boost his campaign.

If he thinks he can wheedle his way into our ballots, we regret to disappoint him. We will not let him break out of detention even for a few hours, guarded by a security cordon of platoons of antiriot police, fully-armed soldiers and not-so-undercover intelligence agents aboard several vehicles and military trucks. We 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.

The man’s audacity is unfathomable; we really worry if he later invokes a plea of insanity as a defense in court. Then again, anyone, including a mad berdugo, can dream. Let him dream on then.

—EDRE U. OLALIA, secretary general, and JOSALEE S. DEINLA, assistant secretary-general for education, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers

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