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Monday, September 15, 2014


Written by Hector Lawas
Publish in Journal Online

A BULACAN court yesterday allowed the transfer of retired Army Major General Jovito Palparan from the Bulacan Provincial Jail to the Army Custodial Center in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
Palparan’s lawyer, Narzal Mallares, said Malolos, Bulacan Regional Trial Court Branch 14 Judge Teodora Gonzales granted his client’s request for transfer of detention in yesterday’s hearing of his petition.
“The court has granted his request for transfer of detention. The judge has given the order during the hearing,” Mallares said.
Asked when the transfer would take place, Mallares said Palparan’s jailers would have to wait for the commitment order from the court.
“They are just waiting for the commitment order and once it is issued, they can do the transfer kahit mamaya,” he added.
He said the court cited Palparan’s security and the inmates at the provincial jail in her decision to allow the transfer.
Mallares earlier cited an intelligence report from the Philippine Army showing that the New Peoples Army had allegedly mobilized a hit squad to “eliminate” Palparan.
He added that several NPA members were also detained at the provincial jail, which heightens the risk to his client.
Palparan initially appealed to the court to transfer him from the provincial jail to the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo or the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame.
But he changed his mind and sought detention at the Army Custodial Center instead.
Mallares said Palparan was happy about the court’s decision. “Kung dati tipid sya ngumiti, ngayon ay abot-tenga na ang ngiti,” he added.
At the same time, he said that transferring Palparan to the Army facility would also lessen the expenses incurred in securing him from threats, especially, since the provincial jail is also undermanned.
Palparan, who was arrested by a joint team from the National Bureau of Investigation and Navy intelligence last August 12, is facing criminal charges for the abduction of UP student-activists Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno in 2006.
He was the commanding general of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division at the time of the abduction.

Okay with Palace
Malaca├▒ang gave the thumbs up to  the transfer of Palparan to Fort Bonifacio.
”If it will help secure the safety of General Palparan, if it will help ensure that the trial will continue against General Palparan, then we certainly respect [the decision],” presidential spokesman Secretary Edwin Lacierda told Palace reporters in his briefing yesterday.
Lacierda said that the court may have found “peculiar” or “unique” reasons during its proceedings that prompted it to issue the order for Palparan’s transfer.
The court order came despite the prosecution’s arguments that transferring Palparan could be a form of special treatment.
Progressive lawmakers and human rights groups likewise criticized Palparan’s transfer to a military facility, describing it as a “homecoming” and a form of “protection” from the Aquino government. 

Army assurance
The Philippine Army (PA) yesterday gave assurances Palparan will be treated fairly and justly inside the Philippine Army Custodial Center.
Philippine Army chief Lt. Gen. Hernando Irriberi said they will take custody of Palparan as ordered by Malolos Regional Trial Court Branch 14 Judge Teodora Gonzales.
“As ordered by the court with its presiding Judge Teodora Gonzales, the Philippine Army will take custody of MGen. Palparan” Irriberi said.
The Army chief said they will abide by the provision of the transfer stipulated by the court adding that they are also ready to present him (Palparan) in court when he is needed.
“The Philippine Army Custodial Center is prepared for the transfer of MGen.  Palparan. He will be treated fairly and justly,” he said.
According to Army Spokesman Lt. Colonel Noel Detoyato, Palparan’s detention cell measures 2.8 meters by 4.3 meters, has one bed, one electric fan and a common toilet.
The Army spokesman said Palparan will be alone in his detention room in a building inside Fort Bonifacio.
“Building siya, it is a compound inside Fort Bonifacio na may mga high fences, diyan din nakakulong yung mga sundalo tulad nung mga Magdalo,” he said.
“Secured, secured siya diyan, puro sundalo rin ang kasama nyan naka-detain,” Detoyato said.


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