Target: Philippines Secretary of Justice, Leila de Lima
Goal: Thank the government of the Philippines for bringing charges against general accused of human rights violations
The government of the Philippines should be congratulated for beginning to prosecute members of its security forces for serious human rights violations. Retired Major General Jovito Palparan was recently arrested for the kidnapping and illegal detention and torture of university students during protests in 2006. He is often referred to by his nicknames, ‘The Butcher’ or ‘The Executioner.’ This preliminary arrest will hopefully spur the government to bring more charges against members of the security forces who were responsible for torture and other crimes.
During his career in the Philippines military, General Palparan led a unit in the central regions of the country. His unit is responsible for numerous human rights violations, including enforced disappearance, torture, and extrajudicial executions. In particular, he targeted members of the Communist party. Many officials that were allegedly involved still remain at large. Arrest warrants are still out for Lieutenant Colonel Felipe Anotado Jr., Sergeant Edgardo Osorio and Sergeant Rizal Hilario. Hopefully, the recent prosecution of General Palparan will lead to increased efforts by the government to bring the remaining officers to court.
While the country has long been a party to international treaties banning torture, there is a long, dark history of the practice in the Philippines’ history. The government should be congratulated for jailing a main offender, but should be advised to continue the effort to prosecute those responsible for human rights violations. Sign this petition to congratulate the Philippines government for its efforts to right a serious wrong.
Dear Secretary of Justice Leila de Lima,
The recent arrest of retired Major General Jovito Palparan or ‘The Butcher’ as he is commonly known, is a positive step towards closing the chapter on torture in your country. Security forces will now know that such egregious human rights violations will not be tolerated in the Philippines security forces. The people of the Philippines deserve to live feeling protected by security forces, not threatened by them.
While this is a great start, your country must continue to bring charges against those responsible for crimes against humanity. Failing to do so would not allow the wounds to close. I ask that you do all that you can to ensure that the victims of torture in the Philippines be allowed to find closure.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Edward Martens via Wikimedia Commons