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'Palparan must be temporarily detained at AFP'

MANILA, Philippines – If he decides to surrender, retired Army general Jovito Palparan Jr. should be temporarily detained at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters, according to Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.

"The main concern of the government here is his security and safety," Robredo said.

He however said from the AFP, Palparan then should be brought to the Malolos Regional Trial Court where he is facing illegal detention and kidnapping cases over the disappearance of the two University of the Philippines students in 2006.

"Then the court would decide where he should be detained," he added, while citing that with his continuous hiding, Palparan is not making his image any better.

"He's losing the public perception in this case. He should come out and face the charges against him," he noted.

For his part, lawyer Narzal Mallares, Palparan's legal counsel, said he would relay the message to his client regarding the matter of detention.

"I-suggest ko kanya kapag nagkontak sya...ang final decision nasa kanya," Mallares said in a radio interview.

He also said that they welcome the suggestion to have Palparan be detained in either at the AFP or the Philippine Army headquarters.

"Sa tingin ko, iniisip nya, paano naman ang security...Kapag  doon siya sa civilian detention facility, na gusto ng mga makakaliwa, maliban sa congested yan ay iba-iba ang mga kaso ng mga nandyan," Mallares said.

On the other hand, one of the lawyers of the missing UP students Karen Empeno and Sheryl Cadapan said that having Palparan be in the custody is "absurd" and "outrageous."

"There is no cogent legal or credible factual basis for the suggestion that Palparan should be brought to AFP when he is arrested or surrenders. This will ignite and inflame so much valid criticism, condemnation and protest both here and abroad," lawyer Edre Olalia said.

Being a former military, Olalia said Palparan would be very "at home" if he would be detained at the AFP.

"It will completely take away any trust in the present government in this regard," Olalia noted.
By Dennis Carcamo Home Updated January 03, 2012 11:19 AM


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