NEWS RELEASE | Peace Caravan to support World Without Torture; Will “Search every camp for Ret. Gen Jovito Palparan Jr”

About 400 delegates of Save Bondoc Peninsula Movement (SBPM) conducted a “citizen’s arrest” for Palparan in observance of the Global Day Against Torture as declared by the United Nations every 26th of June, popularly known as United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

This coincided with the 8-day Peace Caravan of SBPM that kicked-off on June 25 and will culminate on July 2.

The group picked-up on Jovito Palparan Jr who is still at-large after a local court in Bulacan filed charges of kidnapping, illegal detention and torture against him. The retired general was tagged as “The Butcher” during his term because of innumerable atrocities by his troops against left-wing activists.

According to Orly Marcellana, spokesperson of SBPM, “People of Quezon were tortured everyday by the military. They are spreading fear and terror. In fact, just yesterday, one of our leaders was harassed by the military.”

Karapatan in Quezon reported that about 15-soldiers belonging to 85th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army barged into Mylene Santua’s house in Barangay Pagsangahan in San Francisco, Quezon and started questioning her about the activity of SBPM that will took place this week.

A certain Corporal Casiano warned Santua not to join the Peace Caravan of SBPM otherwise she will be facing trouble.

“The latest incident is an act of desperation by the military to stop our plan of conducting a Mercy Mission and Peace Caravan in areas of Quezon affected by intensified militarization under Pres. Aquino’s counterinsurgency program called Oplan Bayanihan,” according to Glen Malabanan, secretary general of Karapatan-Southern Tagalog.

To dramatize the demand of the group of immediate pull-out of all military and para-military troops in Quezon, the Peace Caravan made a short stop and released doves at every military camp and detachment in the towns of San Narciso, Macalelon, Catanauan and Mulanay.

“Kung itinatago ninyo si Palparan, ilabas n’yo na siya! Arestado siya ng mamamayan!” (If you’re hiding Palparan, bring him out! The people are arresting him!)

This is the repeated slogan of the participants of Peace Caravan every time they passed by a camp or detachment of soldiers.

The group will also carry slogans bearing callings such as “I support a world without torture” and “We support a world without torture” in support to the worlwide call of World Without Torture (see http://www.facebook.com/WorldWithoutTorture)

At noontime, the caravan will pay a visit to the tomb of Eden Marcellana, slained human rights worker and the wife of Orly Marcellana, in the town of General Luna.

Eden Marcellana was one of the thousands of victims of extrajudicial killings during the Macapagal-Arroyo administration where Palparan also served his term as a Philippine Army official.

Marcellana in a statement said that, “The military is frantic, and we are dead serious in bringing assistance to their poor victims of human rights violations,” adding, “We will show them the genuine spirit of Bayanihan that they are tarnishing with blood,” referring to reports that checkpoints were already set-up to stop their caravan.

The caravan is set to stay in San Andres, Quezon at the end of the day and will conduct a Mercy Mission on June 27-28 that will include activities such as medical missions, psychosocial therapy, food packages distribution and cultural-art camp.#

Reference:

Orly Marcellana, Spokesperson

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