Lawyer nixes AFP detention for Palparan

Posted at 08/18/14 10:49 AM

MANILA – A private prosecutor in the kidnapping and serious illegal detention case of retired major general Jovito Palparan Jr. slammed the proposal to put the retired Army official under the custody of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

''Outrageous,'' said Olalia of the proposal during an interview before the beginning of Palparan's arraignment at the Malolos Regional Trial Court.

Olalia said Palparan, figuratively speaking, will just "return home'' if he will be allowed to be placed under AFP custody.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV earlier proposed that Palparan be placed under AFP custody due to the supposed threats to the retired general's life.

''To make sure that he is secure, it would be best that he is transferred to a detention facility of the AFP. This is also proper since the alleged crimes he committed were related to his functions as a commander in the Philippine Army,'' the senator said.

But in an interview on the day of Palparan's arrest, Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) chief Major General Eduardo Año said unlike some of his co-accused who are still active in the military, Palparan may not be taken into custody by the AFP since he is already a retired official.

The Malolos RTC earlier ordered that Palparan be transferred to the Bulacan Provincial Jail, but Palparan asked the court to allow him to stay under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) due to the threats to his life.

Palparan, tagged as ''berdugo'' or butcher by militant groups, claimed that communist rebels are out to kill him, even as he denied allegations that he was behind the forced disappearances of several activists during his time in the military.

The retired major general arrived at the Malolos RTC Branch 14 on Monday morning for his arraignment. He faces the court for the first time since he was ordered arrested in 2011 for the disappearance of University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño in 2006.

Olalia said the prosecution will also block Palparan's plea not to be detained at the Bulacan Provincial Jail.

''Hindi kami sumasang-ayon sa kanyang mga alegasyon na ang NBI lamang ang may kakayahan na i-secure siya at may banta sa kanya. Lahat ng iyan ay papabulaanan naming,'' he said.

Palparan's co-accused, Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado Jr. and S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio, are also expected to face the court today for the last day of the presentation of their evidence.