Jovito Palparan

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Jovito Palparan
Former Member of the House of Representatives from Bantay party-list
In office
April 24, 2009 – June 30, 2010
Personal details
Born Jovito Salvaña Palparan, Jr.
(1950-09-11) September 11, 1950 (age 65)
Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Political party Bantay
Spouse(s) Ma. Evangelina Gamad Flores Palparan
Alma mater University of the East
Occupation Soldier
Awards Distinguished 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 communist")
Allegiance Republic of the Philippines
Service/branch Philippine Army
Years of service 1973–2007
Rank Major General
Commands 7th Infantry Division
8th Infantry Division
Battles/wars Communist insurgencies
Islamic insurgencies
Iraq War

Jovito Salvaña Palparan, Jr. (born September 11, 1950) is a Filipino retired Army general,and anti-communist. 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.

He earned the nickname "Berdugo" ("The Butcher") for his alleged 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.

Early life[edit]

Jovito S. 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.[1]

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.[1]

Military career[edit]

Palparan was called to active duty in the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 1973.[1] As a lieutenant, he served in Basilan and Sulu for eight years.[1] 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 mauled 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 Teodolo Bautista, Palparan and his Delta Compay, 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.[2]

Campaign against communist insurgency[edit]

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

From February to August 2005, Palparan was the Commanding General of the 8th Infantry (Storm Troopers) Division in Eastern Visayas.[3] 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.[1] From September 2005 until his retirement in September 2006, Palparan was the Commanding General of the 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division in Central Luzon.[1]

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.[1]

Human rights issues[edit]

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.[3][4] 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.[5] 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."[4]


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.

Political career[edit]

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.[6] 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.[7]

Indictment and Manhunt[edit]

On December 15, 2011, Jovito 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,[8] the following day he was caught trying to leave the country[9] 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.[10][11] 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).[12] 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.[13][14][15][16]


After years of hiding, retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila, dzBB radio reported Tuesday morning, August 12, 2014. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said in an interview with GMA television News' Arnold Clavio on the morning program Unang Hirit Palparan will remain at the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) for now while the Department of Justice and NBI await a commitment order from the court that has jurisdiction over Palparan's case. She said the retired general was arrested at about 3 a.m. in Sta. Mesa, Manila, after authorities sighted him Monday. Palparan did not resist arrest.[17]

Senatorial Run[edit]

He is currently running for senator in the 2016 Philippine National Elections.

Medals and decorations[edit]

The following are medals and decorations awarded to Jovito Palparan:[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Jovito S. Palparan, Jr.". GMA News and Public Affairs. 2007-02-23. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  2. ^ "Tearful Palparan Ends Military Career". Philippine Headline News. 2006-09-12. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  3. ^ a b "Palparan faces Melo panel". Manila Standard Today. 2006-09-27. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ "Palparan won't relent on Reds". Manila Standard Today. 2007-03-23. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  6. ^ "Partylist Canvass Report No. 33 (Ranked)". Commission on Elections. 2008-06-11. Retrieved 2009-04-26. 
  7. ^ "SC increases House party-list reps to 55". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  8. ^ "Jovito Palparan won’t run, wants speedy trial | Inquirer News". 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Palparan stopped from leaving Phl at Clark airport - Yahoo!". 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "P500K reward for info on Palparan | ABS-CBN News". 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "P500,000 reward set for former Army major general Jovito Palparan’s arrest | Sun.Star". 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Gov’t reward for Palparan arrest up to P1M | Inquirer News". 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  13. ^ "Hunt on for Palparan | Inquirer News". 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "Hunt on for Palparan - Yahoo!". 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  15. ^ "Manhunt launched for retired general Jovito Palparan | Sun.Star". 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  16. ^ "Manhunt on for ‘The Butcher’ -". 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  17. ^ "Palparan arrested in sta Mesa; GMA News". 

External links[edit]