“The healthy man does not torture others-generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.”
By Alex P. Vidal
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan was luckier because it was the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that captured him in Sta. Mesa, Manila last August 12.
He was presented to media with his faculties intact and was never harmed.
Unlike other notorious military and police officials who were captured by “the enemies”, tried in the Kangaroo Court and executed.
Some of them were waylaid in ambushes and “given the dose of their own medicine” like the case of one Iloilo police constable who suffered a brutal death from his former victims in a bloody ambush in Maasin, Iloilo many years back.
Palparan was tagged as the “butcher” for being a ruthless former commander of the Philippine Army’s 7th Infantry Division, where he allegedly murdered more than 70 members of militant organizations that included university students, peasants and church ministers.
Most of his alleged victims disappeared without a trace and believed to have been summarily executed.
Back in the late 70s and early 80s, we heard about the notoriety of one Philippine Constabulary (PC) official in Iloilo who was also known as the “butcher.”
The late Boy Longno was known not only for his alleged involvement in extra-judicial killings of suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) at the height of the insurgency problem in the country, but also for allegedly molesting some captured women rebels during the martial law period.
Longno, a former drinking buddy of the murdered ex-army constables Jimmy Punzalan and Abner Banico of the defunct Task Force Hiligaynon and cable host/columnist Peter Jimenea, was himself butchered.
“The butcher butchered,” the late self-styled dyBQ Radyo Budyong broadcaster Delbe Deanala trumpeted in his program.
Deanala, a pro-Marcos and anti-communist radio commentator, condemned the way Longno was killed.
Among the three former PC and army constables, only Banico died a natural death, according to Jimenea.
Punzalan, who had been cleared of involvement in the assassination of pre-EDSA Revolution hero, ex-Antique Governor Evelio Javier, was murdered on August 7, 2013 by hired killers while resting inside his restaurant in Brgy. Bolilao, Mandurriao district, Iloilo City.
Longno and several other PC elements perished in one of the bloodiest ambushes staged by the communist rebels in this part of the country somewhere in Maasin, Iloilo in 1981.
The ambush happened several months before the late former President Ferdinand Marcos lifted martial law because of the scheduled visit of the late Pope John Paul II in Manila.
Of all the casualties in the Maasin carnage, it was Longno who reportedly suffered most. When their bodies were found, Longno’s ears had been cut off.
Worse, his penis was found stuffed inside his mouth. He was reportedly tortured.
One of the names that surfaced as Longno’s possible killers during the investigation was that of Maria Luisa Posa-Dominado, known in the movement then as “Kumander Posa”.
“The manner Boy was killed was so brutal. We can conclude that his murderers had a personal grudge against him,” the late former Iloilo City Councilor Achille Plagata once told city hall reporters.
Plagata had served as police colonel and commander of the Metropolitan District Command (Metrodiscom) after PC was incorporated with the Philippine National Police (PNP) during the term of the late President Corazon Aquino.
Kumander Posa, then in her 20s and the look-alike of actress Beth Bautista, was a former rebel detainee at the Camp Martin Delgado in Fort San Pedro, Iloilo City.
She was captured during the martial law but escaped one night by disguising as a civilian visitor when soldiers guarding her reportedly fell asleep or left their post.
Kumander Posa was among the women detainees who allegedly suffered from torture and sexual abuses from Longno and his fellow PC soldiers during her detention.
Kumander Posa, regional spokesperson of Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto, and Nilo Arado, chair of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan for Panay Island and leader of the farmers organization Pamanggas, were forcibly taken by armed men along the national highway in Barangay Cabanbanan in Oton town, about 7 kilometers from Iloilo City on April 12, 2007.
They have not been seen until today.