DAVAO CITY — With the capture of Retired Major General Jovito Palparan in Manila early morning yesterday, human rights group Karapatan warns of three “wannabes” who “are either Palparan-trained or employ his style in extrajudicial killings and human rights violations.”
Hanimay Suazo, Karapatan Southern Mindanao spokesperson, said while the arrest of Palparan was “a victory of the resolve of the victims and their families to fight for justice,” many problems still occur because “Palparan trained many.”
Suazo named the “wannabes” as former Major (now Colonel) Jake Obligado, Major General Ricardo Visaya now chief of the 4th Infantry Division and former Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) and now 10th Infantry Division Major General Eduardo M. Año.
“Obligado has been with Palparan in Southern Tagalog and was his sidekick. Visaya was trained by Palparan in Central Luzon and Año was implicated in the abduction of Jonas Burgos,” said Suazo.
The National Democratic Front included Obligado in an “indictment” late 2013 against perpetrators of the murder of Roque Antivo and frustrated murders of Jefrey Hernan and Earl Jhun Antivo,all children of Brgy. Anitapan, Mabini, Compostela Valley.
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Last February, the Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization issued a statement which alleged that the killing of lumad activist, Datu Rolando Ambongan, and the wounding of his nephew Janmar Ambongan Sulhayan was “under Gen. Visaya’s reign of terror.”
Suazo said “wherever Palparan and his wannabes are assigned, human rights violations significantly rise.”
Suazo was in a press conference with victims of human rights violations in Mati, Davao Oriental and Maco, Compostela Valley.
Suazo said Jerry Brigole, 25, and Oman Mejeno, 20, allegedly were “abducted” by elements of the 701st Brigade and 28th Infantry Battalion “when they were on their way to a farm in Barangay Taguibo, Mati City.”
Brigole and Mejeno said they were “hogtied and forced to go with the military in their operations, and were repeatedly asked to identify NPA (New People’s Army) encampments.”
Also, barangay officials from Barangay Calabcab and Barangay Sangab of the town of Maco, Compostela Valley complained of soldiers having “taken over public buildings and civilian communities.”
But for Captain Ernest Carolina, deputy chief of the 10th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office, they “do not condone human rights violation.”
Carolina claimed, “Maj. Gen. Año even said to prioritize adherence to human rights during our very first command conference on the day of his assumption.”
Carolina said that they “are also relieved with the fact that Maj. Gen. Palparan has been found because he can now face the allegations against him.”
The Communist Party of the Philippines in its website said “Palparan’s campaign of terror was directed against unarmed activists.”
“For all of General Palparan’s acerbic rhetoric against the NPA, his battlefield record against the NPA was unremarkable,” pointed out the CPP.
The CPP said that Palparan “gained his notoriety in employing AFP terrorism against civilians and activists whom he invariably regarded and treated as armed combatants.”
Meanwhile, Suazo said “nothing has changed in the counter-insurgency plans of the previous administrations.”
“It is still the same. Then and now, the AFP victimizes civilians in its operations,” added Suazo. (davaotoday.com)