Palparan terror tactics continue under the Aquino regime

Communist Party of the Philippines

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the Filipino people’s revolutionary forces welcome the filing of charges against Gen. Jovito Palparan and his cohorts Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado, M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario and S/Sgt. Edgardo in connection with the abduction, illegal detention, torture and disappearance of UP students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.

It cannot be denied, however, that the charges are long overdue, almost a year and a half since the Aquino regime came to power. The Filipino people are growing increasingly impatient over the absence of urgency in the filing of criminal charges against General Palparan, Gloria Arroyo and her key security and defense officials who masterminded the wave of extrajudicial killings perpetrated under the Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) war of terror against the people.

Gen. Jovito Palparan and his fascist cohorts should be arrested and detained with dispatch. Considering that General Palparan is being charged for numerous high crimes and violations of human rights and humanitarian law, his attempt to flee the country and evade trial and punishment comes as no surprise.

Although the charges against General Palparan address one of the most notorious crimes committed under the Arroyo regime, they represent only a small fraction of the long list of brutalities which he and key officials of the AFP and Arroyo regime should be held accountable for. Beyond the specific criminal cases and violations of human rights, General Palparan, Gloria Arroyo and her key officials should be charged as well for wholesale violations of international humanitarian law and the rules of war.

As commanding officer of the 204th Infantry Battalion in Mindoro (2001-2003), the 8th ID in Samar (2005) and the 7th ID in Central Luzon (2006), General Palparan led the fascist troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in carrying out its OBL war against the people, imposing a reign of terror in rural and urban communities, in a futile attempt to stem the growth of the people’s revolutionary resistance. Palparan’s notoriety as a brutal fascist is well summed-up in his monicker as “The Butcher.”

After receiving official commendation from then president Gloria Arroyo, General Palparan’s terror tactics against the people implemented in Mindoro, Samar and Central Luzon have served as models for the campaign of terror in Southern Mindanao, Panay, Bicol, Negros and other regions. To this day, the AFP considers the terror tactics of General Palparan as the exemplar in its Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression.

The Aquino regime condones the wholesale violation of human rights and humanitarian law committed under OBL. Not once has Aquino castigated General Palparan or the current leadership of the AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) who were key leaders and perpetrators of the crimes committed under OBL.

Neither has Aquino repudiated the anti-people dogma of the OBL which considers unarmed civilians suspected of participation in the revolutionary cause as armed combatants and targets of the AFP’s brutal war. Aquino has thus emboldened the military and police to perpetuate their terror tactics and violations of human rights in waging their Oplan Bayanihan war to suppress the people’s armed and mass resistance.

Under Oplan Bayanihan, General Palparan’s tactics of terror continue to be carried out by operating troops of the AFP in its so-called civilian-military operations (CMO). Under Oplan Bayanihan, CMO is nothing but a euphemism for population control tactics, where soldiers set up detachments inside or beside school grounds, churches, day care centers, barangay halls, chapels, residences and other centers of civilian activity.

The AFP continues to implement General Palparan’s guardia-civil tactics of requiring people to present cedulas lest they be subjected to illegal searches and accused of participation in the revolutionary movement. The AFP imposes nightly curfews and restrictions on travel and controls the entry of food and basic commodities. People are restricted from freely engaging in economic activities, usually resulting in untended fields. Fascist soldiers violate the people’s domiciles, steal their farm animals and engage in other anti-social activities disturbing the peace in rural communities.

At its core, Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan is no different from Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya. The Filipino people should demand justice for all the fascist crimes committed under Arroyo even as they demand a stop to the war of suppression being waged by the Aquino regime.