Melo Commission Report: Presentation of Witnesses/Resource Persons

Feb. 23, 2007

C. Maj. Gen. Jovito S. Palparan:

1. Introduction

Maj. Gen. Jovito S. Palparan served in the Armed Forces of the Philippines for thirty-three (33) years before his retirement on September 11, 2006. He was invited by the Commission to shed light on the heightened number of extrajudicial killings of media workers and political activists that transpired in the various posts to which he was assigned including, but not limited to, the following:

Commanding General – 7th Infantry Division, Central Luzon
September 2005 September 2006
Commanding General – 8th Infantry Division, Eastern Visayas
February 2005 August 2006
Brigade Commander – 2nd Infantry Division, Mindoro
May 2001 April 2003

2. Propaganda War

During Gen. Palparans assignment in Mindoro and Eastern Visayas, the people in the said areas gave him certain disapproving monikers such as the Butcher, Berdugo ng Mindoro and Berdugo ng Samar in the context of the rampant extrajudicial executions of left-wing activists during his assignment.

When asked about how he earned these nicknames, Gen. Palparan answered that it was the militants and the CPP-NPA that gave him the nicknames as a part of their so-called propaganda war. He stressed that even before his arrival in the areas to which he was assigned, there were already many killings of both militants and non-militants. Gen. Palparan further stated that the killings that transpired during his assignment were merely highlighted as a form of black propaganda to discredit his efforts in the area.

3. Organizations/Party List Representatives as support systems of the CPP-NPA; Enemies of the State

Gen. Palparan stated that certain Organizations and Party List Representatives act as support systems providing materials and shelter for the CPP-NPA. However, when asked to name these organizations, Gen. Palparan declined to mention them publicly but only agreed to disclose the names of these organizations in a closed-door session.

When asked about his previous statements accusing party list organizations such as Bayan, Karapatan, Gabriela, and Anak Bayan as front organizations of the CPP-NPA with Bayan Muna as the umbrella organization, Gen. Palparan neither confirmed nor denied having made these statements. Upon further questioning, however, Gen. Palparan said that he based this information on video clippings of CPP Chairman Joma Sison naming certain National Democratic Front Organizations as the support systems of the CPP NPA.

Gen. Palparan affirmed his earlier statement made before the Court of Appeals wherein he said that these seemingly legitimate and ordinary organizations are actually enemies of the state. He made an exception, however, with respect to members of these organizations who may not really be enemies of the state but are considered as such due to their membership in these organizations.

In an interview by Pia Hontiveros and Tony Velasquez on the TV Program Top Story, Gen. Palparan was asked why he considered organizations like Bayan Muna as fronts for the NPA. In response thereto, Gen. Palparan said a lot of the members are actually involved in atrocities and crimes When asked what evidence he had to support this allegation, he said that he had no evidence, but that he could feel it. At the Commission hearing, however, Gen. Palparan said that there are witnesses who are former members of these organizations that have severed their membership who can attest to this. These witnesses or their statements were not presented to the Commission. Gen. Palparan also stressed that a lot of members and not all members are involved in atrocities and crimes.

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