Hard to find a barber: 6 things we know about Palparan arrest

Posted at 08/12/14 10:36 AM

MANILA - Retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, wanted for the 2006 disappearance of two University of the Philippines (UP) students, was arrested Tuesday morning after three years on the run.

In an exclusive interview on radio DZMM, Palparan said he had "mixed feelings" about his arrest at Sta. Mesa, Manila but that he is thankful that he is in a secure facility inside the NBI.

Here's what we know so far:

1. He had help.

In his DZMM interview, Palparan said many people in Bulacan were willing to help him evade the law. The retired major general is a former commander of the Philippine Army's 7th Division, which operated in parts of Central Luzon including Bulacan.

"Kung maraming ma-involve kawawa naman sila but they are willing. Marami," Palparan said.

He also claimed that he only stayed in Metro Manila and not in surrounding provinces.

He also refused to say if the people who were arrested with him in Sta. Mesa are relatives. He said he will need to consult a lawyer.

2. It's hard to find a barber while in hiding.

Upon his arrest, Palparan sported long hair and a beard. The change in appearance wasn't a disguise though. He said that while in hiding, he found no need to shave.

"When I was in Congress, I had to make myself medyo disente pero kung nagtatago ka naman, wala ka namang time. I just did not bother na magpagupit. Mahirap pa maghanap ng barbero," he said.

He added: "Part nun kasama yung disguise but that is not really enough dahil lahat ng lalaki nagkakabalbas. Pag nagkabalbas ka doesn't mean iba ka na. Anyway may gamit din yan."

3. Hiding is no good for your health.

Palparan said his limited mobility while in hiding had an effect on him, both psychologically and physically.

He listed some ailments including a frozen shoulder, pulled back muscle and joint pains.

He also lost a lot of weight, dropping from 135 lbs to below 100.

"Kapag na address yun, I can go anywhere," he said.

Will he consider hospital arrest? Palparan said he doesn't need it unless his condition worsens.

"Ayaw ko ng hospital arrest or house arrest dahil lalabas na special treatment, imbento lang yan," he said.

4. Palparan doesn't fear harsh treatment.

Palparan said he can stay in a barangay jail or any prison as long as it is secure. "Kahit harsh treatment kaya ko yan. Sanay na tayo. Ang ano ko lang security ko," he said.

He said he is thankful that he is jailed in the NBI since it is secure and that his family need not worry.

5. Palparan doesn't want to be martyred.

The retired major general does have one concern: being killed by communist rebels who are out for his blood. As commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division, Palparan was dubbed "the Butcher" for his unrelenting campaign against the communist insurgency.

In the DZMM interview, Palparan said he does not want to be killed by communist rebels who will use his death to entice more people to join their ranks.

"Ayaw ko namang mamatay sa kamay ng kalaban...kahit saan ako makulang ang foremost concern ko lang ay security. Ayaw ko lang mapatay ng kalaban at naging malaking advantage sa movement ng Communist Party. Yun lang naman. Yung lang ang concern ko," he said.

6. He wanted to come out but didn't.

Palparan said he wanted to come out and face the kidnapping and serious illegal detention cases filed against him over the disappearance of UP students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.

What stopped him, however, was his own family's concern for his safety.

"Umiiyak ang anak ko. If I am caught, mapabilis ang buhay. My attempt to face the case could not push through. I wanted to come out to clear myself but I am prevented by my family's concerns for my security," he said.