Palparan's Senate bid 'the height of impunity'
Dennis Carcamo (Philstar.com) - October 1, 2015 - 12:41am

MANILA, Philippines - Rights group Karapatan on Thursday said jailed former Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan's senatorial bid in 2016 polls is the "height of impunity," with the ex-military official facing crimes before a Bulacan court. 

Karapatan Secretary General Mari Hilao-Enriquez added that allowing Palparan to run in the senatorial race next year is "dangerous."

"For a former general who faces serious crimes against the Filipino people and who still maintains clout within the military, running for senatorial race is very dangerous. He should, in fact be in a regular civilian jail. Allowing Palparan to run for any position in public office is the height of impunity," Hilao-Enriquez said during the trial of Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. at the Malolos Regional Trial Court Branch 15.

Palparan, through his counsel, filed in court an oral motion to allow him to change the address of his residence, register as a voter, and have his biometrics done in preparation for the 2016 elections. 

The prosecutors asked the court for 10 days to comment on Palparan’s motion, but the defense bargained for a shorter period because they were after the deadline filing of certificate of candidacy.

Palparan is now being tried for kidnapping and serioud illegal detention charges in connection with the disappearance of two University of the Philippines students Karen Empeno and Sherilyn Cadapan in 2006.

"That's how we learned of Palparan's plan to run for the senate. Mahiya naman siya. He thinks he can escape responsibility by seeking a seat in the Senate?” Concepcion Empeno, Karen's mother, said.

Normally, the prosecution would have been given 10 days to comment on the motion, but the court ordered the prosecution to submit its comment in five days to accommodate Palparan’s request for a shorter period of deliberation.

"While the 435 political prisoners had to die before they are given court order for  a medical check-up, Palparan asks for something to satisfy his whim... Will he campaign using the people’s money to bring with him truckloads of soldiers to protect him?" Hilao-Enriquez said.

Several activists have tagged Palparan as "the butcher" for his alleged involvement in the counter-insurgency programs of the government.

ALLOWING PALPARAN CONCEPCION EMPENO HILAO-ENRIQUEZ JOVITO PALPARAN JOVITO PALPARAN JR. KARAPATAN SECRETARY GENERAL MARI HILAO-ENRIQUEZ KAREN EMPENO AND SHERILYN CADAPAN MAJ MALOLOS REGIONAL TRIAL COURT BRANCH PALPARAN QUOT
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