" --IANS/EFE"
Manila, Aug 12 (IANS/EFE) One of Philippines' most wanted criminals, former general Jovito Palparan, was arrested Tuesday in Manila on charges of extrajudicial executions and the disappearance of two students.

Palparan, also a former congressman, was arrested in Manila's Santa Mesa district by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents and armed forces members, said Justice Minister Leila de Lima in an interview with GMA News.

Palparan was in hiding since December 2011, when the Filipino government formally accused him, along with three other individuals, of the kidnapping and disappearance of students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan in 2006.

The former general, who was nicknamed The Butcher, was admired in certain military circles for his tough campaign - including extrajudicial executions - against Communist guerrillas of the New People's Army under the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (2001-2010).

Human Rights Watch (HRW) demanded Palparan's arrest in 2012 and complained that despite the reward of two million pesos ($45,000) on his head he enjoyed the protection of the military and industrialists in the country.

In 2007, the UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Philip Alston accused Palparan of having ordered dozens of killings and called for his arrest.

--IANS/EFE

ab/dg


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