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Who coddled a fugitive Filipino general?
INTELLIGENCE operatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are now looking into possibilities that some people have sheltered Major General Jovito Palparan, who went into hiding for more than three years.
Palparan, who was accused as brains for the disappearance of University of the Philippines (UP) students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan on June 26, 2006, was arrested early Tuesday morning in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
According to Major Gen. Eduardo Año, chief of the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP) and current 10th Infantry Division Commander, one of their informants saw the fugitive general withdrawing money from an automated teller machine (ATM) near his hideout.
"At that sighting, our informant managed to confirm that it was indeed Palparan," Año said.
He declined to identify the bank but said the ATM account, where the fugitive major general was withdrawing money, was not his own.
After the transaction, the suspect returned to his hideout at a house in Teresa St. corner Old Sta. Mesa, Manila, where he stayed for three months. The house is allegedly owned by Grace Roa, a family friend of Palparan.
AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said the arrest of the fugitive major general was borne out by the instructions of President Benigno Aquino III to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin last December 12, ordering the military intelligence units to track and pursue leads that will led to the successful arrest of Palparan and other high profile fugitives.
Zagala said these intelligence units form part of Task Force "Runway", which is spearheaded by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) operatives.
Palparan did not resist during the arrest that took place at around 3:30 a.m.