MANILA, Philippines - If Malacañang will only have its way, it would rather that fugitive Major Gen. Jovito Palparan fall under the hands of the authorities than with members of the New People’s Army (NPA), as this would only “complicate” more the situation.
Efforts to hunt down Palparan “ought to be purely a law enforcement matter,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday, in reaction to the NPA’s reported intent to launch its own manhunt.
“It should be the law enforcement components of the state… that have the authority to undertake the manhunt and as such should be left to it,” she told Palace reporters in a briefing.
Palparan has a reported P1-million bounty for his capture.
Valte refused to entertain thoughts, however, that the NPA might get immediate custody of Palparan, who is facing charges of kidnapping with serious illegal detention for the disappearance of two female activists, since the Aquino administration prefers that he surrenders or is arrested by lawmen.
Even Palparan himself, who has been branded as a “butcher” by leftists, would not want himself to be caught by the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
The marching orders for law enforcement agencies is to bring the retired military officer before the bar of justice and face the charges that have been filed against him before the Bulacan regional trial court, Valte said.
“Well, what the orders of the law enforcement components are to find him and bring him to trial...,” she added.
For his part, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, said, “We want him to be prosecuted. We want him to stand (trial)... we want him to face prosecution. And so, his security is important for us. When he surrenders, we want to make sure that he is secure.”
“On the part of the government, we want to make sure that we will be able to apprehend him and one way of facilitating the apprehension is to offer a bounty for General Palparan,” he said. - By Delon Porcalla