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KMU to Noy: go after Palparan

Jun. 05, 2010

Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) challenged Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to go after retired Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Gen. Jovito Palparan, in response to the apparent president-elect’s promise to give “closure” to cases of extrajudicial killings in the country.

“Giving ‘closure’ to cases of extrajudicial killings is a good promise. It may, however, come to naught if not followed up with concrete actions. Noynoy can start by investigating and punishing Palparan. Data from human rights organizations clearly show that cases of extrajudicial killings rose dramatically in areas where Palparan was assigned,” said Lito Ustarez, KMU executive vice chairperson.

The labor center cited the following data from human rights organization Karapatan, which show the number of cases of extrajudicial killings and frustrated murders that were reported during Palparan’s stint in three regions:

Extrajudicial
Killings

Frustrated
Murders

Southern Tagalog

39

11

Samar

25

9

Central Luzon

77

15

Palparan, who is also known as the “Butcher,” has repeatedly and openly branded legal progressive organizations as “communist fronts.” While denying that he was directly responsible for extrajudicial killings that occurred under his watch, he boasts of having “inspired” the assassins. Even the Arroyo regime’s Melo Commission identified his culpability for these human rights violations.

“The people are crying out for justice, and talk is cheap. The best illustration is Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself. She clearly and emphatically said that she is opposed to extrajudicial killings. Yet she praised Palparan and his men for ‘fighting for democracy,’ and promoted him several times until he retired as a general. Concrete actions must be done and perpetrators must be punished,” Ustarez said.

The call for accountability for cases of extrajudicial killings, abductions and other human rights abuses coincides with the ongoing meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council, where cases of human rights violations under the Arroyo government will be raised.

“Noynoy can start with Palparan but he should not end with the Butcher. If Noynoy is really committed to giving ‘closure’ to cases of extrajudicial killings in the country, then he will end up punishing no less than Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. We have every reason to believe that she ordered and funded the killings,” Ustarez concluded.

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