MANILA, Philippines (5 Jan. 2012) – A Catholic bishop has appealed to retired Major Jovito Palparan to surrender to authorities and defend himself.
Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said that Palparan will only aggravate his case if he would continue hiding.
“He is hiding and that’s sign of guilt. He should come out if he is not guilty,” Bastes told Manila archdiocese-run Radyo Veritas.
On Thursday, the government has doubled the reward money from P500,000 to P1 million for information that would lead to Palparan’s arrest.
Palparan is facing a case for the disappearance of two activists and UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan in 2006. Two of his co-accused have already surrendered and are in custody.
Palparan has gone into hiding after a judge issued a warrant for his arrest late last month.
The church official also called on the authorities to exert more effort to ensure the arrest of Palparan. Bastes believes that Palparan could face more charges once he is nabbed.
Fr. Joe Dizon of the Solidarity Philippines also called on President Benigno Aquino III to issue a public statement ordering the arrest of Palparan.
According to him, a hefty reward for the arrest of the former military official is not enough if Aquino himself is not interested in the case.
“President Aquino should have a public statement that Palparan has to be arrested and make him accountable before the law,” Dizon said. [CBCPNews]