Palparan, who was dubbed “The Butcher” by human rights advocates, has denied ordering the kidnapping, detention, rape and torture of the two University of the Philippines coeds in June 2006 when he was the infantry division commander in Central Luzon. He has also defended his methods, likened by critics to a dirty war, which he employed against insurgents.
There is still no closure for the families of Cadapan and Empeño, who are among the desaparecidos in this country. Unwilling to give up on the possibility that the two victims might still be alive, and unable to give them a formal farewell, the relatives remain suspended in a limbo of sorrow.
With his continuing insistence on his innocence, Palparan is unlikely to provide the grieving relatives any clue regarding the two victims’ fate. Hurling invectives yesterday at the judge, Palparan is set to appeal his conviction all the way to the Supreme Court. It could take another 12 years before final judgment is rendered. At least his offense does not allow him to post bail while his case is on appeal.
Besides the search for justice, Palparan’s conviction should inspire a reassessment of the military mindset and methods in fighting insurgencies. Palparan’s counterinsurgency methods enjoyed support from a certain segment of the population. He was singled out for praise in the State of the Nation Address of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during her presidency. He became a party-list congressman representing Bantay. When Palparan was first ordered arrested by the Malolos court, military officers were suspected to have helped him hide for three years until he was nabbed in the city of Manila.
Violent methods and egregious violations of human rights in quelling rebellions tend to have diminishing returns. Such methods have contributed to making the communist insurgency in the Philippines one of the longest running of its kind in the world. The ideology may now be unrecognizable, but the unrest and discontent behind the armed dissent are still there. Punishing those who engage in dirty wars is just a laudable step in ending the rebellion for good.
The Philippine Star
7.1. Clear vision – Tribune – Rise to the occasion
Time’s running out
The Straits Times says:
Another step in long road to peace
It has been just three months since United States President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore for their historic summit. The talk now is of plans for yet another meeting in the coming months. The Singapore Summit on June 12 was ground-breaking. A second summit, coming soon after the first, begs the question: To what end? Analysts wary of Pyongyang’s intentions argue that Mr Kim’s promise of working towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula was dangerously vague as it left him too much wriggle room. They also believe he has not done much to follow up since, other than symbolic gestures that included, most recently, not trotting out menacing missile displays.
Meanwhile, Mr Kim wants Washington to first come up with more incentives, chiefly a declaration formally ending the Korean War. But it is unlikely the US will readily declare peace and normalise ties with the North until Pyongyang has completely and verifiably dismantled its nuclear programme – a demand the US has made clear.
TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE: https://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/another-step-in-long-road-to-peace
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