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Jovito Salvaña Palparan Jr. (born September 11, 1950) is a retired Army general, anti-communist personnel, and a convicted kidnaper.[1][2] From July 2003 to July 2004, he was the commander of the Philippine Humanitarian Contingent in the Iraq War. He also served as a Congressman representing the Bantay party-list group in the 14th Congress of the Philippines.

Jovito Palparan
Member of the House of Representatives from Bantay Party-list
In office
April 24, 2009 – June 30, 2010
Personal details
Jovito Salvaña Palparan Jr.

(1950-09-11) September 11, 1950 (age 68)
Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, Philippines
Political partyBantay
Spouse(s)Ma. Evangelina Gamad Flores Palparan
Alma materUniversity of the East
AwardsDistinguished Service Stars
Gold Cross Medal
Gawad sa Kaunlaran
Bronze Cross
Wounded Personnel Medals
Military Merit Medals
Campaign Medals
Military service
Nickname(s)Berdugo ng mga komunista ("The Butcher of Communists")
AllegianceRepublic of the Philippines
Branch/servicePhilippine Army
Years of service1973–2007
RankMajor General
Commands7th Infantry Division
8th Infantry Division
Battles/warsCommunist insurgencies
Islamic insurgencies
Iraq War

He earned the nickname "Berdugo" ("The Executioner") for his proven[1] involvement in numerous human rights violations, such as the Murder of Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy and the Disappearance of Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno. He was arrested in Manila in 2014 after three years of hiding.

On September 17, 2018, Palparan was sentenced to life imprisonment, after being convicted of kidnapping and serious illegal detention over the enforced disappearances of Cadapan and Empeno in 2006.[3]


Early lifeEdit

Jovito Salavana Palparan, Jr. was born on September 11, 1950 in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental. He earned a degree in business administration from the University of the East in Manila in 1971.[4]

Palparan later earned a master's degree in management from the Philippine Christian University in 1994, and a master's degree in national security administration from the National Defense College of the Philippines in 1999.[4]

Military careerEdit

Palparan was called to active duty in the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 1973.[4] As a lieutenant, he served in Basilan and Sulu for eight years.[4] Palparan's first combat duty was in the island of Siasi, Sulu with the 24th Infantry Battalion in January 1974 but his first encounter was in Indanan, Sulu when MNLF fighters attacked the 24th Inf Bn after the burning of Jolo, Sulu in February 1974 where he earned his first combat medal. He was almost dismissed from the service when he led 12 soldiers of 24IB known as Wildcats in the rescue of a fellow Wildcat who was attacked by Marine soldiers leading to one of the biggest mis-encounter among AFP units that took place in the Pier of Zamboaga City in August 1974. While pursuing Uzman Sali's Group that massacred BGen Teodulfo Bautista, Palparan and his Delta Company, 24IB encountered the group of about 150 rebels in Mt Sinumaan, Patikul, Sulu on 24 February 1978. He lost 13 soldiers and many others were wounded in a day long encounter. The MNLF suffered 21 killed in action. 2Lt Palparan was awarded a Gold Cross Medal. He retired from his military career on September 11, 2006, his 56th birthday.[5]


Palparan was assigned in Mindoro and Romblon from May 2001 to April 2003 as commander of the 204th Brigade.[citation needed]

From February to August 2005, Palparan was the Commanding General of the 8th Infantry (Storm Troopers) Division in Eastern Visayas.[6] He has been credited with reducing the rebel presence in Samar by 80 percent, and claims he could have eliminated the rebel presence completely had he been given an extension of duty.[4] From September 2005 until his retirement in September 2006, Palparan was the Commanding General of the 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division in Central Luzon.[4]

In the 2006 State of the Nation Address, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo acknowledged Palparan's successes in offenses against members of the New People's Army.[4]

Human rights abusesEdit

Palparan has been accused of having a role in extrajudicial abductions and killings of government critics during his military service. He has denied any link to any such killings, and has been cleared of rights abuses by the military through an internal, informal investigation in which no records were kept.[6][7] A probe by the Philippine Commission on Human Rights has also found that there is no direct evidence indicating that Palparan is the mastermind, but there is circumstantial evidence linking some members of the military, to the killings.[8] The Melo Report stated that, "there is certainly evidence pointing the finger of suspicion at some elements and personalities in the armed forces, in particular General Palparan, as responsible for an undetermined number of killings, by allowing, tolerating, and even encouraging the killings."[7]

Iraq WarEdit

Palparan was commander of the Philippine Humanitarian Contingent in Iraq, a force of 51 troops deployed in Iraq from July 2003 to July 2004. Following the withdrawal of Philippine troops from Iraq, Palparan was promoted to the rank of Major General in October 2004.[citation needed]

Political careerEdit

Following his retirement from the military, Palparan has become the figurehead of Bantay, a political party that advocates anti-communism. In the 2007 congressional elections, Bantay garnered 169,869 votes and ranked 32nd among party-list groups, which was insufficient to allow it to send any representative to congress under the formula used at the time.[9] However, in April 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that the number of seats in the House of Representatives be increased by 55, adopting a new formula for allotting seats to party list representatives. The ruling allowed Bantay to send Palparan as its representative to the House, and he was proclaimed on April 24, 2009.[10]

He ran as an independent candidate for the Senate of the Philippines in the 2016 Philippine Senate election, sending his son, JC Palparan, to file his certificate for candidacy.[11] He subsequently lost and placed 39th (out of 50 candidates) in the race for Senate, where he received only 1.87% of votes.[12]

The Disappearance of Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen EmpenoEdit

On June 26, 2006 Cadapan and Empeño who were both alumni of the University of the Philippines Diliman were abducted by suspected military men in Hagonoy, Bulacan, during the tenure of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,[13] and were accused of being members of the Communist Party of the Philippines. This incident took place at a time when Central Luzon was being driven by a fierce conflict between the government and the communist New People's Army.[14] According to the official investigation, eyewitness Raymond Manolo stated that Palparan tortured Sherlyn by hitting her mouth and punching her breasts and stomach area until they bled. Palparan also slammed wooden planks against the victim so that Sherlyn would admit she is a communist, while Sherlyn kept on saying that she wanted to go home to her parents. Manolo also noted that he saw the military stealing from nearby villagers, burning down dead bodies using gasoline, and shooting a man who was riding a carabao due to farm work. Manolo's account also noted that on April 2007, he saw Sherlyn lying naked on a chair that had fallen on the floor, her wrist tied together, one leg tied down, while being hit by wooden planks, electrocuted, and afterwards being half-drowned. The military also played with her body, poking wooden objects inside Sherlyn's vagina, after finding out that Sherlyn was going to write a letter to somebody. Sherlyn, due to intense torture, blurted out that the letter was Karen's idea. The military then dragged Karen out from her cell, stripped her naked, tied her wrists and ankles, beaten, water-tortured, burned with cigarettes, and raped with pieces of wood. Manolo afterwards washed the two women's clothes, including their panties drenched with blood. Manolo also noted that the bucket of piss of the two women were filled with 'chunks of blood'.[1][15]

On December 15, 2011, Palparan was indicted for 2 counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention in connection with the abduction of still missing UP student activists Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño in 2006.

Despite claims that he will face all charges,[16] the following day he was caught trying to leave the country[17] on December 20, 2011, stopped by a hold departure order. He was not detained since warrant was only released that afternoon and has then since disappeared. A manhunt [1] is now on to find Palparan. A reward of P500,000 (approximately US$10,000) has been posted for info in capturing Palparan.[18][19] Also charged were Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado, Master Sgt. Rizal Hilario and Staff Sgt. Edgardo Osorio and Marine Major Philippe Nicolas, a Labor Union lawyer. On January 5, 2012 the reward has been raised to P1,000,000 (approximately US$20,000).[20] On Aug. 16, 2012 palace offers P2M reward for info leading to arrest of Jovito Palparan.

He was the subject of a nationwide manhunt after being indicted for kidnapping and serious illegal detention until his arrest in 2014.[21][22][23]

After years of hiding, Palparan was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila. The retired general was arrested at about 3 a.m. in a neighborhood of Santa Mesa, Manila. Palparan did not resist arrest.[24]

On December 14, 2015, the Malolos Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 15 rejected Palparan's bid to be released on bail despite his plea that he is running for Senate.[25]

On September 17, 2018, Palparan and his associates, former lieutenant colonel Felipe Anotado and former staff sergeant Edgardo Osorio were sentenced to life imprisonment, after being convicted of kidnapping and serious illegal detention over the enforced disappearances of Cadapan and Empeno in 2006. Along with his co-accused, the court ordered are each ordered to pay PHP 100,000 in civil indemnities and P200,000 for moral damages.[3] Palparan appealed against his conviction the following day. In November 15, 2018, the Malolos City Regional Trial Court Branch 15 ultimately denied Palparan's plea, stating that Palparan failed to present new arguments in his motion of reconsideration filed September 18 to convince the court to reverse its decision.[26]


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Jovito Palparan found guilty". Rappler. 2018. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Jovito S. Palparan Jr". GMA News and Public Affairs. 2007-02-23. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
  5. ^ Mananghaya, James (2006-09-12). "Tearful Palparan Ends Military Career". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2009-04-27.
  6. ^ a b "Palparan faces Melo panel". Manila Standard Today. 2006-09-27. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ "Palparan won't relent on Reds". Manila Standard Today. 2007-03-23. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
  9. ^ "Partylist Canvass Report No. 33 (Ranked)". Commission on Elections. 2008-06-11. Archived from the original on 2009-03-03. Retrieved 2009-04-26.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  10. ^ "SC increases House party-list reps to 55". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 2009-04-22. Archived from the original on 2012-08-20. Retrieved 2009-04-23.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  11. ^
  12. ^ Reformina, Ina (2016-05-19). "Tolentino fails to secure SC TRO vs proclamation of 12 winning senators". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  13. ^ "2 UP students still missing after 7 years". Rappler. June 28, 2013.
  14. ^ "Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan: Fates Intertwined by a Desire to Serve the Masses - Bulatlat". Bulatlat. 2009-06-27. Retrieved 2017-05-07.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Jovito Palparan won't run, wants speedy trial | Inquirer News". 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  17. ^ "Palparan stopped from leaving Phl at Clark airport - Yahoo!". 2011. Archived from the original on 20 December 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  18. ^ "P500K reward for info on Palparan | ABS-CBN News". 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  19. ^ "P500,000 reward set for former Army major general Jovito Palparan's arrest | Sun.Star". 2011. Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  20. ^ "Gov't reward for Palparan arrest up to P1M | Inquirer News". 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  21. ^ "Hunt on for Palparan | Inquirer News". 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  22. ^ "Manhunt launched for retired general Jovito Palparan | Sun.Star". 2011. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  23. ^ "Manhunt on for 'The Butcher' -". 2011. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  24. ^ "Palparan arrested by NBI in Manila". GMA News Online. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  25. ^ "Court rejects bail for Jovito Palparan". Rappler. December 14, 2015. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  26. ^

External linksEdit