Jailing Palparan is No.1 Christmas wish for HR victims

CALAMBA CITY – Almost a decade after the gruesome killing of Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy, relatives of human rights victims and supporters express disgust that retired army general Jovito Palparan is still at large.

Advocates urged the immediate prosecution and jailing of Palparan, saying this is the “least Christmas gift this government can give”.

April 23, 2003 when Marcella and Gumanoy, both leaders of Karapatan Southern Tagalog and Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK) respectively, were found dead in Bansud, Oriental Mindoro.

Witnesses attest that suspects are linked to the Philippine Army’s 204th Infantry Battalion of which Palparan was commanding officer. Palparan was also charged for countless human rights violations in Southern Tagalog and other regions.

Dana Marcellana, daughter of Eden, who was only 9 years old then, expressed her skepticism that the Noynoy Aquino administration can bring justice for her mother’s case.

“My age has already doubled, and yet I see similar acts from this government – the killing of those who uphold human rights and the promotion of those who are supposedly accountable,” she said.

Dana, along with a thousand protesters, are on their 3rd day of the Lakbayanng Mamamayan ng Timog Katagalugan Para sa Karapatang Pantao (Southern Tagalog People’s March for Human Rights) that kicked-of in Lucena City last December 3 and set-foot in this city yesterday.

Today, the marchers will thread their way to Biñan and is expected to reach Mendiola on December 10 in time for the 64th year of the International Declaration of Human Rights.

“I joined the march because I can feel my mother is with us each step of the way. Her spirit is with every individual speaking and seeking for justice,” she said and added that December 11 is her mother’s 38thbirthday.

Other victims of extrajudicial killings in the region are Diosdado Fortuna, Noly Capulong, Jovy Magsino, Romy Malabanan, Nicanor Delos Santos and Lester Barrientos. Their deaths were all believe to be masterminded by Palparan.

Glen Malabanan, Karapatan-ST secretary general and daughter of slain peasant leader Romy Malabanan highlighted that the Aquino administration beside being unsympathetic is also responsible for the worsening situation of human rights in the country.

Under Aquino’s counter-insurgency program OplanBayanihan, Karapatan has already recorded 114 cases of extrajudicial killings, 12 enforced disappearances, 70 cases of torture and 224 individuals under illegal arrest and detention among other cases.

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