.,.,.,Republic of the Philippines HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TWELFTH CONGRESS Second Regular Session
HOUSE RESOLUT ION No. 1181 __________________________________________________________________________________ Introduced by Reps. SATUR C. OCAMPO, CRISPIN B. BELTRAN and LIZA L. MAZA __________________________________________________________________________________
RESOLUTION EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTAT IVES FIRMLY OPPOSING THE PROMOTION OF COL. JOVITO PALPARAN JR. TO THE RANK OF BRIGADIER GENERAL ON ACCOUNT OF THE GRAVE CHARGES OF GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS ATTRIBUTED TO THE 204 TH INFANTRY BRIGADE OF THE PHIL I PP I N E ARMY IN MINDORO UNDER HIS COMMAND, INCLUD I NG 32 DOCUMENTED CASES OF BRUTAL EXTRAJUD IC IA L KILLI NGS OF MEMBERS OF PEOPLE’S ORGANIZATIONS, THE LATEST VICTI MS OF WHICH ARE HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES EDEN MARCELLANA AND EDUARDO GUMANOY W HEREAS there have been 32 documented cases of summary executions of leaders and members of people’s organizations directly attributed by human rights organizations to the troops and hired gunmen of the 204th Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army since its deployment under the command of Col. Jovito S. Palparan Jr. in the island-province of Mindoro in May 2001; W HEREAS of the 32 activists slain in Mindoro, 22 were members and local coordinators of the political party Bayan Muna. They include Expedito and Manuela Albarillo (killed 8 April 2002, Brgy. Calsapa, San Teodoro); Ruben and Rodriga Apolinar and their 8-year old daughter Nina Angela (killed 20 May 2002, Brgy. Ilag, San Teodoro); Edilberto Napoles Jr., 26, Bayan Muna coordinator and spokesperson of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) (killed 28 May 2002, Calapan City); and Leonardo Rodriguez (abducted, tortured, severely beaten and buried alive until he succumbed to death, 24 July 2002, Brgy. Manguyang, Gloria); W HEREAS the latest in the long list of slain activists in Mindoro are Karapatan-Southern Tagalog secretary-general Eden Marcellana and Samahang Magbubukid ng Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK) chairperson Eduardo Gumanoy who were abducted on the evening of April 21, 2003 and found dead the following morning in Bansud, Mindoro Oriental. Marcellana was renowned for investigating, documenting and exposing human rights abuses of Col. Palparan and his troops against Mindoro townsfolk. Marcellana and Gumanoy were part of an 11-member Quick Reaction Team which went to the towns of Gloria and Pinamalayan in Mindoro Oriental to investigate new cases of illegal arrests reportedly led by Col. Palparan himself and the manhandling of a barangay captain and disarming of policemen by members of the military; W HEREAS human rights groups state that the pattern of these killings cannot be seen independent of either the repeated statements of Col. Palparan in media and during congressional hearings or the actions of his soldiers that indiscriminately brand legal organizations such as Bayan, Bayan Muna, Karapatan, Gabriela and Akbayan as “communist fronts,” revealing a dangerous mindset that
simplistically equates any form of opposition to the government with communism and recklessly translates military response to this issue into outright attacks against legal organizations and activists; W HEREAS a case in point are the leaflets, purportedly published by a group called “MILABAN KA” (Mindoro Laban sa Karahasan), which were distributed in May 2002 by elements of the 68th Infantry Battalion in Calapan City and which targeted the forementioned organizations and several local leaders of these groups as communist. The soldiers themselves issued threats against leaders and members of said groups – “Kung hindi kayo titigil, at patuloy kayong magmamatigas ay mapipilitan kaming gamitin ang lakas upang kayo ay supilin at ubusin.” Later that month, Edilberto Napoles Jr., was shot in cold blood a few meters away from the Bayan Muna office in Calapan; W HEREAS Col. Palparan as well as 204th IB spokesperson Rizal Hilario were the subject of criminal cases before the Department of Justice for the murder of Edilberto Napoles Jr. and the frustrated murder of Napoles’ companion, Ruel Landicho, who survived the incident and positively identified their assailants as known gunmen of Col. Palparan; W HEREAS immediately prior to his assignment in Mindoro, Col. Palparan was posted in Laguna where the human rights organization Karapatan documented at least seven cases of killings in 2001 during his tour of duty. The victims were mostly members of people’s organizations and some were ordinary farmers killed on mere suspicion of being sympathizers of the New People’s Army. The victims include Ricardo Romero, Milagros Belga, Leonila Bueno, Virgilio Alcantara, Merly Ibañez, Felipe Lapa and Renato Pontanoza; W HEREAS Col. Palparan’s tainted record further dates back to the early 1990s when he was then a major assigned in Central Luzon. Residents and various local government officials in the region petitioned for his transfer due to rampant abuses against civilians, including cases of salvaging, which were directly attributed to him and to the troops under his command; W HEREAS Col. Palparan's unmitigated record of abuses and unprofessional conduct, specifically with respect to the rights and protection of civilians, non-combatants and even hors d' combat in an armed conflict, seriously flouts and contravenes pertinent provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and its Protocols as well as the basic mandates of the Philippine Constitution in relation to the sanctity of human life, human rights, justice, due process of law, public accountability, the duties and responsibilities of the armed forces, among others; W HEREAS the promotion of Col. Palparan would send the wrong message that members of the military facing grave and unresolved charges of human rights violations are rewarded with promotion instead of being investigated, tried and punished for culpable violation of their sworn duty; W HEREAS it is incumbent upon the House of Representatives as a constituent member of the Commission on Appointments to see to it that the promotion of officers of the armed forces is done in complete accordance with the requirements of the Constitution and the strictures of law; NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED to express the sense of the House of Representatives firmly opposing the promotion of Col. Jovito Palparan Jr. to the rank of brigadier general on account of the grave charges of gross human rights violations attributed to the 204th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army in Mindoro under his command, including 32 documented cases of brutal extrajudicial killings of members and leaders of people’s organizations, the latest victims of which are human rights advocates Eden Marcellana and Eduardo Gumanoy. Adopted,
SATUR C. OCAMPO
CRISPIN B. BELTRAN Bayan Muna–Party-List
LIZA L. MAZA Bayan Muna–
__________________________________________________________________________________ W HEREAS there have been 32 documented cases of summary e...