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Manhunt on for ‘The Butcher’

Arrest warrant out for notorious ex-general wanted for kidnapping

Students demand the arrest of retired general Jovito Palparan for alleged crimes against the people (Photo by Rene Sandajan)
Students demand the arrest of retired general Jovito Palparan for alleged crimes against the people (Photo by Rene Sandajan)
  • ucanews.com reporters, Manila
  • Philippines
  • December 21, 2011
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A manhunt is underway for a notorious retired general, dubbed “The Butcher,” who is wanted in connection with the disappearance of two female students in June 2006.

Former major-general Jovito Palparan Jr is in hiding after being barred from boarding a plane to Singapore on Monday because he was on an immigration  bureau watch list.

He left the airport and went into hiding before an arrest warrant was issued later in the day.

A formal travel ban preventing him from leaving the country was issued by a court in Malolos City today.

The Department of Justice believes Palparan is directly involved in the abduction and illegal detention of University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno, who are still missing.

Two of the former general’s aides believed to be complicit in the disappearances, Felipe Anotado Jr and Edgardo Osorio, are already in custody, while a third, Rizal Hilario, is also still at large.

Authorities say they are acting on the “positive testimony” of witness Raymond Manalo, who claimed he was detained in a room with the two victims in an alleged safe house belonging to the 7th Infantry Division, which was then headed by Palparan.

Human rights groups have dubbed Palparan “The Butcher” because of the number of alleged extra-judicial killings in places where he was assigned.

Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima have formed a joint task force to track down and arrest Palparan.

Church officials, who have long suspected Palparan of having committed atrocities, have welcomed the arrest order.

Father Jose Dizon of Imus, the convener of the National Clergy Discernment Group, said it “is a very good development because finally General Palparan will have his day in court.”

“It seems he knew he was going to be arrested, that’s why he tried to flee,” Father Dizon said.

“My advice to him is to surrender. Flight is a sign of guilt.”
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