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DOJ to look into claim that Palparan gets special treatment at Bilibid


The Department of Justice (DOJ) will look into an allegations that retired Army major general Jovito Palparan has been getting special treatment at the New Bilibid Prison.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he will instruct Undersecretary Deo Marco to investigate the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers' (NUPL) claim that Palparan still has not been transferred to the maximum security compound.

Palparan was sentenced to up to 40 years in prison in 2018 in connection with the abduction of student activists Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño.

"Yes, I will look into this allegation," Guevarra said in a message to reporters Thursday.

"It has always been the policy of the DOJ to ensure that all PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) in correctional facilities are treated uniformly, subject to only a few exceptions based on humanitarian grounds," he said.

The NUPL said last week that the retired general has been "overstaying" at the Bilibid's Directorate for Reception and Diagnostics, where inmates undergo evaluation for not more than 60 days, and acting as "governor" or "mayor de mayores" to about 1,500 inmates there.

The NUPL claimed the convicted retired general has "unbridled access" to the computer and the internet and "many other privileges" denied to other inmates.

He is "given unbridled access to the computer and the internet and many other privileges that are otherwise deprived to other inmates," the NUPL claimed.

The NUPL also claimed that Palparan's on-camera interview with former presidential communications assistant secretary Mocha Uson while in prison last year was conducted without permission from the court where he still has a pending case.

The group said the retired general, through his alleged acts, "brings the courts into disrepute" and "continues to frustrate the attainment of justice for his victims and affront the fundamental principle of civilian supremacy over the military." — RSJ, GMA News

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