The Association of Generals and Flag Officers (AGFO) defended a fellow retired retired Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan through a press release.
“Let him have his day in court and defend himself against his accusers. He is entitled to due process,” says Edilberto Adan, AGFO president.
“If he had abused his power and authority or committed any crime against anyone as the militants claim, then allow him to face his accusers, and they should present evidence for evaluation by competent authorities so that justice maybe served.”
AGFO is calling for a fair trial and a stop to trial by publicity.
“Professional soldiers like Maj. Gen. Palparan faced hardships and risks, and had put his life on the line like countless Filipino soldiers in the service of the country, starting as a junior officer in the 1970s,” Adan added in the press release.
“His courage and leadership had saved lives and protected communities. His sacrifices should be taken into account.”
Palparan was dubbed as one of the best AFP officers who fought the New People’s Army. Palparan, not known to many, is not a graduate of Philippine Military Academy but a product of ROTC, he was called to service 1973.
As Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division commander, the NPA was almost exterminated in Samar.
Palaparan was also sent as commander of the first Philippine Humanitarian Contingent in Iraq last 2003. He was the commander in Iraq when Filipino troops’ expertise in combat once again gained international recognition.
Among the recognition and awards he received during his military service were Distinguished Service Stars, Gold Cross Medals, Gawad sa Kaunlaran Medal, Bronze Cross Medals, Wounded Personnel Medals, Military Merit Medals, Campaign Medals. Some are rarely awarded.
Now, Palaparan is detained and accused for masterminding the disappearance of Karen Empeño and Sherilyn Cadapan, UP students.
“We sympathize with the families of the victims of this long-running insurgency whether they are civilians or soldiers. But branding Maj. Gen. Palparan as a ‘berdugo’ and playing it up in the media does not help the quest for justice,” said Edilberto Adan, AGFO president.