Duterte, Nograles squabble over broadcaster’s murder

Jan. 07, 2008

By Marilou M. Aguirre
Davao Today

DAVAO CITY — Mayor Rodrigo Duterte hinted that a Davao Congressman,
who hired retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan as a consultant, must have
known something about the killing of Davao broadcaster Ferdinand
“Batman” Lintuan.

Duterte divulged this in his weekly television program, “Gikan sa
Masa, para sa Masa,” after speculations linking the city government’s
People’s Park project to the death of Lintuan.

The slain broadcaster reportedly tackled an alleged “overpricing” and
corruption in the PTA ground project before he was gunned down outside
his radio station on Christmas Eve. Lintuan has been closely
identified with Duterte’s political rival, first district Congressman
Prospero Nograles.

Duterte said Palparan, whose new assignment he learned from the
military and the police, is now serving as consultant of Nograles but
the Congressman denied this. In an earlier television report, Nograles
said he never had a military consultant in his five years in Congress;
and hiring one is “not his style.”

Palparan also denied he had anything to do with the death of the
broadcaster. The retired general had earned the moniker “Butcher of
Mindoro” for the alleged killing and abduction of a number political
activists and innocent civilians in Southern Luzon where he was
previously assigned.

The Melo Commission, formed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in
August 2006 to ook into the deaths of activists, named him the “prime
suspect” behind the extra-judicial killings in the country.

Palparan was also singled out by Arroyo during her state-of-the-nation
address (SONA) in 2006 for his “outstanding performance” in the
government’s fight against the Communist rebels.

Recently, the Court of Appeals (CA) also directly linked Palparan to
the abduction of farmers Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo on February 14,
2006 in Bulacan. The CA said Palparan knew about the arrest and
detention of the Manalo brothers by his men. Palparan was also
allegedly involved in the June 2006 abduction of UP students Sherlyn
Cadapan and Karen Empeo.

Both Nograles and Duterte, who are now in the midst of a heated word
war, denied having anything to do with Lintuan’s death.

Duterte said he did not even consider Lintuan his enemy even when the
latter was closely identified with Nograles and with former Davao city
mayor Zafiro Respicio and Benjamin de Guzman, who were all his
political rivals.

He promised to file an indefinite leave of absence on the first week
of January to give way to an independent investigation of the People’s
Park by the Commission on Audit (COA). “If it’s proven that there’s an
overpricing, even just ten pesos, I will resign from my post,” he
said. Duterte was also blamed for the death of slain broadaster Juan
Porras Pala in 2003 although no direct accusations came out in the
open. (davaotoday.com)

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