Palparan ‘enjoys’ special treatment inside New Bilibid Prison, says lawyers group

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 19) — A lawyers group said that detained Retired Major General Jovito Palparan Jr. is “unduly enjoying” special treatment inside the New Bilibid Prison even after he was convicted for the disappearance of two student activists in 2006.

The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) said that the former military man “keeps on making a mockery of the law and judicial system” despite being sentenced to 40-year jail time for the kidnapping and serious illegal detention of two students of the University of the Philippines.

“In a motion submitted to the RTC of Malolos City, Branch 15, where Palparan is being tried in another case of kidnapping involving farmer Raymond Manalo, the NUPL asked that the special privileges he is unduly enjoying be terminated once and for all,” said NUPL in a statement.

NUPL is an association of human rights lawyers and law students, which offers legal services to marginalized clients such as farmers, workers, urban poor, youth, students, children, women, and migrants. The group's Secretary General Atty. Edre Olalia represented the families of the victims.

The group claimed that Palparan has also been overstaying at the Directorate for Reception and Diagnostics (DRD) of the national penitentiary, wherein inmates only stay for no more than 60 days.

“At the DRD, Palparan has been acting as “governor” or “mayor de mayores” to about 1,500 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs),” said NUPL.

NUPL also said that he has “unbridled access” to the computer and the internet.

“By these acts, Palparan, with the help of his coddlers in government not only brings the courts into disrepute, he also continues to frustrate the attainment of justice for his victims and affront the fundamental principle of civilian supremacy over the military.”

CNN Philippines is trying to get the response of the Bureau of Corrections regarding this issue.