BAYAN says Palparan acquittal reflects intensified attacks on activists under BBM presidency
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan denounces the continuing impunity in the country after M/Gen. Jovito S. Palparan and several military personnel were acquitted in the case for kidnapping and serious illegal detention with serious physical injuries committed against brothers Raymond Manalo and Reynaldo Manalo in 2006.
Palparan’s case is a reminder that state forces are directly involved in the abduction of activists and human rights defenders. Despite the incarceration of Palparan, police and military units continue to be involved in serious human rights violations, especially after the government of Rodrigo Duterte waged a brutal ‘war on drugs’ and all-out war against the communist movement.
The acquittal of Palparan was announced in the wake of the intensified attacks on activists under the Ferdinand Marcos Jr presidency. This year alone, several activists have been abducted in Cebu, Bataan, Mindoro, Negros, Rizal, and Nueva Ecija. Palparan may be in jail but his enablers, patrons, and coddlers are still in power and have yet to be made accountable for their crimes against the people. We will not forget how he was singled out by no less than former President Gloria Arroyo who praised the notorious general in her state of the nation address despite being implicated in grave human rights violations.
Palparan’s acquittal could embolden fascists in the bureaucracy to commit more violence targeting activists, critics, and other opposition forces.
We warn against the crackdown on voices denouncing corruption, cronyism, puppetry to imperialist powers, and plunder of our resources.
The aim of fascists like Palparan is to silence dissent and spread fear. We will push back and resist the normalization of tyranny. We will continue to speak truth to power and fight for justice.
We call on our fellow Filipinos to stand in solidarity with the families and victims of enforced disappearances and state terror. Let us not allow the systematic clampdown on our civil liberties.