MANILA, Philippines — Communist rebels in the Southern Tagalog region joined calls for justice for the “heinous crimes” committed by retired Army general Jovito Palparan even as they blasted a “deranged” President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest “sexist” remarks, in which he suggested female guerrillas be shot “in their vaginas.”
On Thursday, a Bulacan court wrapped up its hearings on kidnapping with illegal detention charges against Palparan, nicknamed “The Butcher” for the trail of alleged human rights violations in areas where he was assigned as military commander, for the 2006 disappearance of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeno and Sheryn Cadapan.
Jaime “Ka Diego” Padilla, spokesman of the New People’s Army’s Melito Glor Command, accused Palparan of victimizing “thousands” in Southern Tagalog through killings, enforced disappearances, illegal arrests and false charges, torture, threats, and the harassment of communities and legal organizations.
“These include the murders of Eddie Gumanoy, Eden Marcellana, Atty. Jovy Magsino and Leima Forto, who have been deprived of justice for more than a decade, the filing of trumped up charges against the so-called ‘ST 72’ or 72 activist leaders in Southern Tagalog, threats and harassment of communities in Batangas, Rizal, Maguna and Mindoro,” including enclaves of the indigenous Mangyan.
As for Duterte, Comrade Kathryn, a cadre of the Melito Glor Command, called him “a deranged president who is ignorant of women’s role in the society, further proving his incompetence in office.”
Padilla said Duterte’s remarks, made before former rebels, “gives further license to military, police and paramilitaries to conduct heinous crimes and sexual violations against militant Filipino women in the countryside in an attempt to suppress their revolutionary sentiments.”