"The hunt for the Butcher"
By Katleah Ulrike
Lately, we've heard the news about the "escape" of a man known for his stint in the armed forces. That, in response to the warrant of arrest given by the Malolos City trial Court as well as from the Justice Department, made him impossible to get out of the country (such as going to Singapore as news reports stated.)
Known as the "Butcher" and "Dead man walking", Jovito Palparan was infamous for his actions involving extrajudicial killings, torture, enforced disappearances and exections. TO his supporters he was known for defending individual interests, that his procedures meant putting things in order despite its illegality such as the above stated.
But then most rather focus on the former as its victims are starting to surface upon this matter-including companies that felt being threatened in the name of "peace and order", as he said:
“This is the essence of the coercive power of the state. Under this, we have the authority to terrorize the bad elements of society,”
But then, the use of power from a certain position, especially that is high ranking may also include using it to protect vested interests such those of Mining companies. As according to Patricio Mangubat:
"After his retirement, the fugitive formed his own army–1,600 at best, and provided security blanket to erring mining companies in Bulacan and other Central Luzon towns."
This somehow meant trying to create a balliwick defending himself in midst of his escape from the authorities. Remembering the standoff at Masinloc, Zambales, one of the soldiers even said that he've been fooled by a retired major general who used the breakdown in the police and military chain of command as a means take over the port owned by Consolidated Mining Inc. Mangubat may also somehow think that this 1,600 men may involve soldiers loyal to the retired general, as well as CAFGUs willing to become like them.
But then, this matter rather be considered secondary, as the most issue to be tackled upon involving him is the abduction last 2006 of college students suspected of being members of the communist New People’s Army, this may also include 500 cases of torture, harassment, abduction, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Samar, same as in Mindoro, all as part of the counterinsurgency program issued by no other than former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the general usually denying its allegiations or putting the blame on the rebels as part of the infamous anti-infiltration campaigns made decades ago-that made the latter epicted as a scapegoat, or alibi for further action as others may think of.
However, according to Raymond Manalo, one of the victims of military atrocities last 2006, the abducted UP students were under Palparan's men, tortured and sexually harassed by the abductors.
The events related to the atrocities, as well as the escape somehow meant ridicule and scorn while his supporters continued to justify the atrocities as part of the procedure. One of them even commented that:
"it's ok to kidnap, torture, rape and kill a communist including those who are suspected or alleged."
Only to think such actions used "in the name of peace and order" and "national security" includes barbarism as stated by the victims.
Secondly, the writer also thinking that joining the military isn't entirely an easy procedure to call one's self idealistic and worthy of praise from others (since it is not just requiring appropriate height, weight and yearness to do combat action in the guise of willingness to defend the country to become an army man) although there are those stubbornly wanting to join as if thinking that "to kill is fun" and "the more to kill he possible to have a high rank" disregarding Human Rights so to speak, that some took college just to join ROTC disregaring the course they took; while others opted to be a part of a coronel's household while volunteering as a CAFGU or CVO-just to become a soldier using the usual public suggestions to uplift one's self and gain prominence.
That in the end, only to think that laws are to be circumvented to justify illegal action such as barabarism amd substituting efficiency for justice. Two wrongs don't make a right as one writer said. And as People still continue to hear the news about the escape, and perhaps his whereabouts, also meant a chance of justice for the victims of military atrocities.