By CPP Information Bureau
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the long overdue arrest of former Philippine Army general Jovito Palparan this morning was carried out by the agents of the Aquino government amid continuing widespread military and police abuses and grave violations of human rights, especially against peasant masses and minority peoples.
“Thousands of victims of General Palparan’s campaign of terror have long demanded justice for the crimes and abuses perpetrated by the fascist troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines under his command,” said the CPP.
The CPP said Palparan’s campaign of terror was directed against unarmed activists among the ranks of peasants, workers, students and other oppressed sectors who helped organize the downtrodden masses to enable them to defend their rights and advance their democratic interests.
“For all of General Palparan’s acerbic rhetoric against the New People’s Army (NPA), his battlefield record against the NPA was unremarkable,” pointed out the CPP. “He gained his notoriety in employing AFP terrorism against civilians and activists whom he invariably regarded and treated as armed combatants.”
Wherever he was assigned, General Palparan maintained and directly commanded a death squad which carried out abductions, torture and extrajudicial killings against activists and suspected supporters of the revolutionary movement.
He and his men were directly responsible for the 2006 abduction, torture and disappearance of UP activists Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño and their companion, peasant activist Manuel Meriño in Hagonoy, Bulacan; the 2006 abduction and torture of brothers Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo, in San Ildefonso, Bulacan; the 2003 killing of human rights activist Eden Marcellana and peasant activist Eddie Gumanoy in Mindoro; and numerous other crimes.
“The AFP has officially endorsed, supported and perpetrated the terror tactics employed by Palparan against the people,” said the CPP. “He was assigned as head of several Army battalions and divisions in Ilocos, Mindoro, Eastern Visayas and Central Luzon during which he unleashed a reign of terror, abuses, abductions, torture, enforced disappearances, food and economic blockades, and martial law restrictions against entire communities.”
The CPP pointed out that the Aquino regime has yet to firmly condemn the grave abuses of human rights committed by the AFP under its Oplan Bantay Laya I and II campaigns of suppression. “Not a single military official has been put to account for more than a thousand cases of extrajudicial killing and countless cases of human rights abuses perpetrated by the AFP.”
“The AFP’s official human rights rhetoric is a mere façade to conceal the brutalities perpetrated by its commanders and troops in conducting its Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression, mostly directed against the civilian population, drawing from the methods employed by the fascist general Palparan,” said the CPP.
“The crimes perpetrated then by Palparan continue to this day, despite all the loud peace and human rights rhetoric of Aquino and his military and security officials,” added the CPP. It pointed out to the killing by armed state agents of peasant activist Gregorio Galacio last 19 July 2014. For many years, Galacio was actively seeking justice for his daughter Grecil, a 9-year old schoolgirl killed by elements of the 28th Infantry Battalion in 2007 who claimed that she was a child soldier of the NPA to conceal their crime.
In Iloilo, elements of the AFP’s 82nd Infantry Battalion killed 38-year old peasant Gerardo Larbo last 17 July while he was harvesting their family’s corn plot. He was branded by the AFP as an NPA combatant.
“Abuses of human rights against the people are worst in areas where the AFP conducts its Oplan Bayanihan operations, mostly in rural hinterlands, where foreign big mining, logging, and plantation operations seek to rob and plunder the land from the peasants and minority peoples,” added the CPP.
“From the Mountain Province in the Cordilleras to the Pantaron range of the Talaingods in Mindanao, the AFP drops bombs and fire artillery against farming communities, entire combat units swoop down on residential areas, occupy the people’s homes, accusing them of supporting the New People’s Army, turning schools, day care centers and barangay halls into barracks, endangering the people’s lives, violating their civil and political rights with impunity, and traumatizing children and elderly people.”
“Indeed, the arrest of General Palparan has been effected, but his fascist legacy of extrajudicial killings and military terrorism continues to thrive under the Aquino regime.”