Press Release
March 20, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today expressed concern that the military may be imparting the wrong values to the soldiers by awarding the Distinguished Service Star to Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan during the celebration of Army Day despite the generals alleged involvement in a long list of human rights violations.

Pimentel said the conferment of the service award smacks of extreme insensitivity to the sentiments of a nation shaken by the string extra-judicial killings of political activists and militant farmer and labor leaders in the regions or provinces where Palparan served as field military commander.

Its a sad day for human rights when Gen. Palparan is honored on Army Day as a role model for soldiers to emulate. Extra-judicial killings do not warrant medals under a democratic government, he said.

The minority leader said basic rules of prudence and propriety may have also been violated by extending the award to Palparan considering that he is still under investigation by different bodies for his alleged role and responsibility for the extra-judicial killings of 18 political activists and leaders of farmers and workers organizations in Central Luzon during his stint as commander of the Armys 7th Infantry Division.

Ironically, Pimentel said Palparan was honored by the Army only three days after the murder of the 18th victim, 33-year old Tirso Cruz, a union leader at the Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac.

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