Musings over Palparan

I am reposting my commentary, which i wrote as the regional spokesperson of the League of Filipino Students and a coordinator of Kabataan Partylist during the preparations for the 2010 elections wherein Palparan declared an “all-out-war” against the Left and decided to play it hard, hands-on, here in Southern Mindanao. Thank you for posting this article.

Palparan must surface immediately and answer for his crimes.


Musings over Palparan

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One would visualize a butcher as a person covered with blood after meticulously chopping and carving an animal in a slaughterhouse. For a man to be labeled a butcher, that person must have done something really brutal. “Berdugo” in the native language, “butcher” is by and large used to tag someone who has the reputation to have a hand in a series of massacres and other fascist acts.

A retired General and now a party-list Representative, Jovito Palparan is notorious as the epitome of fascism in the country. Execrated by the people, Palparan is now again on the loose to sow fear, deception and murders in Davao.

The Making of a Murderous Psychopath

Born in Cagayan de Oro City, Palparan studied in the University of the East and expeditiously rose to the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He was called to active duty in the AFP in 1973 and served as a lieutenant in Basilan for eight years. Palparan was reportedly wounded during an encounter with armed guerillas belonging to the Moro National Liberation Front.

After his stint in Basilan, he was promoted to become the commander of the 24th Infantry Battallion bringing with him his McCarthyist antics of terrorism spilling blood all over the National Capital Region as early as 1987. In his delusion to crush the legal progressive and underground movement, Palparan’s barbaric exploits caused the death of countless lives.

Palparan then emerged in the center stage as one of the prized weapons of mass deception and destruction of the government against the people’s movement for national liberation and democracy. His expertise includes summary executions, abductions, tortures, harassments, indiscriminate bombing and strafing, enforced disappearances and brainwashing through black propaganda.

Reports recorded by human rights group Karapatan identified 39 cases of extra-judicial killings, 11 failed killings and 5 enforced disappearances in his stint in the Southern Tagalog Region. Palparan was transferred as commander of the 8th Infantry Division in Samar and there he raised the record of 25 extra-judicial killings, 9 failed killings, and 12 enforced disappearances. Some 7,250 individuals, 5,223 families at 141 communities fell victim to intensified militarization. And as the commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division assigned in Central Luzon, he collected 77 bodybags of victims of extra-judicial killings, 15 attempted murders and 42 enforced disappearances.

One of the highlighted cases of Palparan’s malfeasance is the abduction of University of the Philippines student leaders Karen Empeño and Sheryl Cadapan and peasant Manuel Merino in Bulacan. The abduction created uproar from the UP community, human rights organizations, civil society and even from groups abroad. The statement of the Manolo brothers who were also abducted by the military and managed to escape reinforced the evidences.

According to sworn statement of Raymond Manolo, they were detained with Karen, Sheryl and Manuel in a military camp in Bulacan. Raymond was able to have a discussion with them and witnessed how Sheryl attempted to escape. The military agents went berserk when they found out about Sheryl’s plan. “They delivered heavy punches to the whole of Sheryl and Karenís bodies, their mouths bled, they were hanged upside down with only one foot tied while naked. Then the military poured water in their nostrils,” Manolo affirmed in his sworn statement.

The numbers are enough to attest that Palparan is indeed a murderous psychopath. His atrocities caused an international alarm stirring the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the United Nations to conduct an investigation. The Phillip Alston Report and HRW concluded that Jovito Palparan is liable for the countless cases of human rights violations in the Philippines. The Melo Commission created in 2006 also concluded that “there is certainly evidence pointing the finger of suspicion at some elements and personalities in the armed forces, in particular General Palparan, as responsible for an undetermined number of killings, by allowing, tolerating, and even encouraging the killings.”

Palparan takes pride over his so-called exploits: “The killings are being attributed to me. But I did not kill them. I just inspire the triggermen.”

By praising Palparan, Arroyo is sending an unambiguous message. That her administration rewards, not penalizes, those who participate and promote the murders of those regarded as oppositions, leftists and communists.

Tito Palpy

Student activists, as a joke, refer to Palparan as Tito Palpy and usually use it to scare some kasamas when they go home late, “Hala ka, naa baya si Tito Palpy diha sa gawas sa gate. Ginahulat ka.”

Just a few months away from the first automated election in our country, the Davao region is under threat by the presence of the “Butcher” and his brainwashing buddy Pastor “Jun” Alcover. Their mission- to demonize the MAKABAYAN senatoriables Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza and party-lists Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, ACT and Katribu and disenfranchise the legitimate struggle of the Filipino people.

The pronouncement of Palparan and Prospero Nograles to team-up against the Left and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is preposterous. Palparan said in a press conference in Davao City that Mayor Duterte has “ties” with the communists. “Intelligence officers of the military told me to be wary of Mayor Duterte”, Palparan told the local media. The political interest of Nograles reinforced by Palparan’s militarist and terrorist approach will only spell out chaos in Davao City.

The deployment and installation of the 69th Infantry Battalion of the AFP last August 27, 2009 in Davao is clearly part of the maneuvering of the government to further terrorize Mindanao. Referred to by some as the “Palparan Battalion”, the 69th IB originally came from Central Luzon under the 7th ID, the division-cum-killing machine led by Palparan before his so-called retirement in September 2006.

The “Palparan Battalion” is a band of gun-for-hires involved in the brutal massacre in Hacienda Luisita and the abduction of Jonas Burgos.

In the last futile attempts of the US-backed Arroyo administration to crush the people’s liberation movement, it is crystal clear that their turgid Oplan Bantay Laya 2 (OBL 2) is bound to fail. Suffering tremendous blows from the people movement and offensives launched by the New People’s Army particularly in Southern Mindanao, the government is frantic in sending the best of the beasts to save their sinking ship.

Dead Man Walking

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, a line borrowed from the book A Tale of Two Cities perfectly describes the political scenario in the Philippines.

This is the worst of times because the people are under attack. The election is only a few months away and Arroyo and her deadly minions, Palparan and Nograles, are on a killing spree. Democracy, justice and peace are fiction. If student leaders Karen and Sheryl were easily dragged, tortured and raped by state agents, then no place is safe for the youth anymore.

This is the best of times because the condition is very ripe for a huge leap in the progress of the people’s struggle. This times calls for the people to unite and resist against the evils that desire to destroy our dream for a better future. We want change. The times calls for the youth to prove that we want change, genuine change, and that we really are, as Rizal declared, as the hope of the nation.

The day of reckoning is about to come. Palparan is a dead man walking.No title, not General, Congressman, not even Senator, will make Jovito Palparan an honorable man.

Soon, Palparan’s atrocities will catch up with him and the Butcher will suffer the bitter end he deserves. Like stories written in books, some characters will live happily ever after and some will face the consequence of their evil deeds.

The “Berdugo” will surely face the wrath of the people and will forever be in the dark pages of our history. And the people, through the advancement of the national democratic struggle, will harvest the hard-won fruits of their labor- a society without injustice and exploitation.


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