With Palparan still at large: Christmas not merry for human rights victims and their families

National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) Press Statement

19 December 2012

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) today assailed the continuing hypocrisy and insensitivity of the Aquino government in making true to its promise to deliver justice to victims of human rights violations.

“The plain fact that Gen. Jovito Palparan, aptly called and known as ‘The Butcher’ is still on the run and remains at large goes smack to the pronouncements of the Aquino
administration that it is committed to go after human rights violators,” NUPL secretary general Atty. Edre U. Olalia said in a statement, one year from the date the Malolos, Bulacan RTC issued a Warrant of Arrrest for Palparan for the Kidnapping and Illegal Detention of UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno.

The NUPL is representing the private complainants in the said case.

“It lamentably demonstrates how embarrassingly incompetent and helpless, if not morally complicit, the Noynoy administration is in delivering justice to victims of human rights violations, in holding state forces accountable for such violations, and in
perpetuating impunity” Atty. Olalia added.

The NUPL, which represents many human rights victims and political prisoners all over the country, likewise lambasted the government’s obdurate position. “It is a colossal
irony and injustice that the persecuted and the political prisoners who fought for human rights are the ones languishing in jails or face unwarranted arrests,” Atty. Olalia said.

“While Palparan may still be in the company of his coddlers just under the nose of the government’s much-ballyhooed ‘tracker teams’ or may possibly have already slipped out of the country at this time – traipsing in the snow while whooping it up with happy Christmas carols in inebriated glee and contempt – Ms. Linda Cadapan and Concepcion
Empeno and other parents whose sons and daughters have disappeared without a trace or fell victims to this state-perpetrated impunity, mark their holidays with weighed-down sorrow but calm and steady vigilance.”

“For them, for the longest time, this year’s Christmas will not again be merry and bright.”
Reference: Atty. Edre U. Olalia, NUPL Secretary-General (+639175113373)

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“By calling yourselves the ‘people’s lawyer,’ you have made a remarkable choice. You decided not to remain in the sidelines. Where human rights are assaulted, you have chosen to sacrifice the comfort of the fence for the dangers of the battlefield. But only those who choose to fight on the battlefield live beyond irrelevance.”
– Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, in his message at the NUPL Founding Congress, September 15, 2007

“After long years of experience as a people’s lawyer, I can honestly say it has been a
treasured journey of self-fulfillment and rewarding achievement. I know it will be the same for all others who choose to tread this path.”
– Atty. Romeo T. Capulong, NUPL founding chairperson, in his keynote address at the
Fifth Conference of Lawyers in Asia Pacific ( COLAP V), September 18, 2010