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Aquino not doing enough to arrest Palparan, says priest

MANILA, May 24, 2012— A Catholic priest and human rights advocate expressed dissatisfaction with the Aquino administration’s actions, or lack of it, to arrest fugitive retired Major Gen. Jovito Palparan.

Solidarity Philippines lead convenor Fr. Joe Dizon criticized the slow pace of manhunt for Palparan, and accused the government of not doing enough effort into arresting the general.

He also chided the government’s failure to arrest two other high profile fugitives, former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and Dinagat Island Rep. Ruben Ecleo.

Palparan was charged with several human rights violations, Reyes was accused of masterminding the killing of environmentalist Dr. Gerry Ortega, while Ecleo was found guilty of killing his wife.

The priest said that if Aquino is serious in resolving the said cases, he should use his power as commander in chief and ordered the authorities to do everything to arrest them.

“Well I think President Aquino is not doing too much to arrest them and to think that he can exercise his power as commander in chief to order the arrest of these high profile fugitives,” Dizon said over Catholic Church-run Radyo Veritas.

The priest also claimed that the fugitives, especially Palparan, remain scot-free from arrest and prosecution because some police and military officials are protecting them.

“I really think that the reason why they are still free until now is because they are under the protection of the police and military. If they will not be arrested, President Aquino should be held accountable,” said Dizon. [RL/CBCPNews]