The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights slammed the transfer of Gen. Jovito Palparan from Bulacan provincial jail to an AFP detention facility following a decision made by the Malolos Regional Trial Court last September 15.

“We strongly denounce the transfer of Gen. Palparan from the provincial jail to a military detention. Transferring Palparan to military custody is not just giving special treatment; it is tantamount to giving him freedom because the military is his comfort zone,” Daisy Arago, CTUHR executive director said.

On Monday, September 15, Malolos RTC branch 14 Judge Teodora Gonzales ruled in favor of Palparan’s motion to transfer him to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Custodial Center in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City due to “threats” to his life.

“Indeed, impunity reigns. It is becoming clear that even with Palparan’s arrest and charges filed against him, there is really no intention to prosecute him to the full force of the law because his transfer to a military facility is more advantageous and more convenient to him now compared when he was still in hiding,” Arago added.

After over two years on the run, Palparan was arrested on August 12 in a residential area in Sta. Mesa Manila by agents of the National Bureau of investigation.

The group also raised concerns about how groups and individuals seeking justice for Palparan’s crimes and human rights violations ensure that he is still being detained when he is staying in his home institution.

Palparan, known as the “butcher” faces charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention in relation to the abduction of Raymond Manalo and enforced disappearance of two UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan.

Palparan is suspect of masterminding numerous extra-judicial killings, and enforced disappearance of activists when he was still commanding officer of military units Mindoro and Central Luzon. CTUHR notes that Palparan was responsible for the killing and disappearance of a number of trade unionists namely Rogelio Concepcion, Nilo Bayas, Leodegario Punzal, Florante Collantes, Federico de Leon, Manuel Avila, Ricardo and Rodel Valmocina, and Michael Milanay.

“Ultimately, the transfer of Palparan to military custody is reflective of the Aquino government’s policy to perpetuate injustice and impunity. This sends a bad signal that will further impunity for human rights killings and violations because even when perpetrators and masterminds like Palparan have already been brought to court, the military can always run to their defense and secure them,” Arago said.###