RETIRED Army general Jovito Palparan Jr. is not enjoying preferential treatment while in detention at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa, the Bureau of Corrections yesterday said.
Palparan is serving a 40-year sentence for the disappearance in 2006 of student-activists Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno from the University of the Philippines (UP).
“The BuCor does not provide any special treatment for any inmate or person deprived of liberty (PDL). The overall safety and reformation of PDLs is the main mandate of the BuCor,” BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag said in a statement referring to claims raised by the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL).
In a motion filed last Tuesday with Branch 15 of the Malolos City, Bulacan RTC, the NUPL has said that Palparan was enjoying special privileges, alleging in particular that the retired soldier had been overstaying at the Directorate for Reception and Diagnostics (DRD) despite the fact that inmates stay at the facility for no more than 60 days while they get familiarized with prison rules and regulations.
Likewise, the NUPL said Palparan was given access to a computer, internet and other privileges that are prohibited to other inmates.
The Malolos RTC is handling another kidnapping case against Palparan involving farmer Raymond Manalo.
While not directly addressing NUPL’s claims on the use of the DRD, Bantag said Palparan has not been transferred to his detention cell due to threats to his life.
“In the case of PDL Jovito Palparan Jr., there are intelligence information regarding threat to his life which can be aggravated if he is mixed with the general PDL population,” Bantag said, stressing: “The administration ensures that no special treatment or privilege is provided to any PDL.”