Fugitive retired Maj. General Jovito Palparan was finally captured on Tuesday after nearly three years in hiding. Photo by Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA - ATM transactions helped National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents track down and capture fugitive retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan on Tuesday, sources said.
A pattern of ATM withdrawals gave clues to Palparan's whereabouts, the sources added.
An informant, who will get the P2-million bounty on Palparan's head, helped pinpoint his location, according to the NBI.
Palparan also allegedly had three encounters with a New People's Army hit squad but managed to survive, the military said.
Palparan is now being detained at the NBI, with 24/7 security measures in place.
Only his lawyers and immediate family will be allowed to visit him in detention.
Several people are also under investigation for allegedly coddling Palparan.
PALPARAN: NO REGRETS
Unkempt and visibly thinner, Palparan was no longer surprised when he was finally arrested after nearly 3 years on the run.
When the raiding team arrived at a house in Sta. Mesa, Manila in the wee hours of Tuesday, Palparan no longer resisted.
"Wala ka na naman magagawa...madidisgrasya ka lang, makakadisgrasya ka ng iba. Unneccessary lang iyun," he said. "Four days, 3 days ago nararamdaman ko na basa na ako sa lugar, na wrong-timing lang ako."
Known as "The Butcher," the 64-year-old Palparan faces criminal charges for the disappearance of two UP students -- Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño in 2006.
To this day, Palparan insists on his innocence.
"Hindi totoo iyan. Sana maging truthful din sila sa kanilang accusation. Kasi ang dami nilang manufactured na evidence," he said. "Modesty aside, baka ang nasa isip nila masyado akong successful sa campaign ko, so they have to put me down."
"I have no regrets for what I've done because what I did was for the good of the people," Palparan said.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Palparan will get a fair trial.
"Now that's he's been arrested, he must now face the cases, he must face his accusers, he's now being given a day in court. Ang commitment ng gobyerno dito is that he will be fairly treated, and that he will be given a fair trial," she said.
"May inaresto rin pong dalawang tao for violation of PD 1829 or the decree penalizing obstruction of apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders," De Lima said.
One of the arrested suspects, Rey Ladao, claimed that he does not know that the person was Palparan.
Palparan, meanwhile, said he doesn't care where he is detained as long as his safety is secured.
"Kung wala lang threat sa akin...I could have surrendered immediately," he said. "I want to face the case in court para mapabilis." - with reports from Ron Gagalac, Jasmin Romero, and Zyann Ambrosio, ABS-CBN News; ANC