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Students march against ex-general
Former military chief should face jail for disappearance of two activistsActivists demanding the arrest of military officials involved in the disappearance of students stand face-to-face with police outside the Supreme Court building (photo by Rene Sandajan)
- D'Jay Lazaro, Manila
- July 8, 2011
Members of the Student Christian Movement of the Philippines held the protest outside the Justice Department where the case against retired major-general Jovito Palparan Jr. and several other military officials are being heard.
â€śIt is our utmost desire to see to it that the likes of Palparan do not exist anymore in our society. We shall support the call for justice till the end,â€ť said Kristine Valerio, the Christian bodyâ€™s chairperson.
The parents of the two activists also challenged the former general to tell them â€śface to faceâ€ť he had nothing to do with the disappearance of their children.
â€śWe know this is just the beginning of the road towards justice. We would like to see Palparan behind bars," said Cristina Guevarra of the rights group Hustisya (justice).
â€śIt is time for the perpetrators who have threatened and ruined so many lives to be prosecuted and punished for their crimes,â€ť she added.
On May 4, Erlinda Cadapan and Concepcion EmpeĂ±o, the mothers of the missing students, filed criminal complaints of rape, serious physical assault, arbitrary detention and maltreatment of prisoners against Palparan and other military officials.
Raymond Manalo, a former detainee and a key witness in the case, said he saw the students and even talked to them.
â€śJailing him is not enough. But if he is imprisoned, all victims will be given a taste of justice,â€ť he said.
Palparan headed the governmentâ€™s counter-insurgency campaign codenamed Freedom Watch during the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Human rights groups say there were many cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in places where he was assigned during this period.