MALOLOS CITY—Still dazed on his arrest over a week ago, retired Army Major General Jovito Palparan blamed Justice Secretary Leila De Lima for his incarceration.
Once considered as one of the “fightingest generals” of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and dubbed by militants as “the Butcher,” Palaparan for the first time admitted “defeat” even before evidence against him are presented in court.
In more than 40-minute interview with PUNTO on Tuesday, his first after he was detained at the Bulacan Provincial Jail here, Palparan sad “wala akong laban dito.” He was referring to the kidnapping with arbitrary detention charges filed against him and three other military officers.
The case stemmed from the alleged abduction of University of the Philippines (UP) students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan on June 26, 2006 in Hagonoy town. “Kung tutuusin, wala akong kaso,” he said noting that kidnapping charges are usually levelled against private citizens, and not against government agents or military officers.
Palparan said that cases filed against him were allegedly committed during his tour as commanding general of the Army’s 7thInfantry Division based in Nueva Ecija. He said that the case was filed against him after nine other cases were dismissed by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“This is the work of Secretary Leila De Lima,” he said and added, “if the system is against you, they can do anything.” Palparan said that the bases for the kidnapping charges he is facing now are almost the same as in the nine other cases dismissed by DOJ.
When asked why would De Lima personally take a case against him, the retired general said that he offended the secretary. He said that it was due to his expose of De Lima’s relationship with Julie De Lima, the wife of Jose Maria Sison, the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
“Nagalit siya (Secretary De Lima) sa amin noong mabulgar ang relasyon niya sa asawa ni Joma Sison, eh, mataas ding opisyal ng CPP-NPA yun,” Palparan said noting that the Justice Secretary and Sison’s wife are cousins.
The retired general said that De Lima succeeded in putting him in jail. He added that abduction charges against military officers are usually a bailable offense, but the Department of Justice went another level upward by making his case non-bailable.