VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Palparan changes tune; now says only Duterte can quash communist insurgency

From calling President Rodrigo Duterte a coddler of the New People’s Army (NPA), retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr., who was convicted of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, now “believes” Duterte is the only president who can “end” the communist insurgency in the country.


In an Aug. 22 interview with former Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson, Palparan said it is “high time” for the government to put a stop to the communist insurgency:

“I believe in the president’s leadership. Very strong [ang] leadership ng president tsaka influence niya sa tao (his leadership and public influence are very strong)… I think it’s a big factor to end insurgency.”

He added:

“I think it’s the only time na (that) we have the chance to end insurgency. Under the president’s leadership. Ganun talaga ang tingin ko ngayon (This is really what I think right now).”

Source: Mocha Uson Blog official Facebook page, EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW KAY RETIRED MAJ. GEN. PALPARAN, watch from 27:16 to 27:28 and 28:23 to 28:51

Uson has called for Palparan’s release amid the controversy on the reported possible release of ex-Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted of rape and multiple counts of murder, on good conduct. (See VERA FILES FACT SHEET: Understanding good conduct time allowance for prisoners: 4 things you should know)

Uson said she interviewed Palparan “due to insistent public demand.” The interview has so far garnered over 1.4 million views.


Palparan previously criticized Duterte on multiple occasions for being a “friend” and “supporter” of the NPA during the latter’s campaign for the presidency.

In an October 2015 exclusive interview with, Palparan said:

“He (Duterte) is a supporter of the [NPA]. He is one of the biggest supporters of the NPA among local officials. For me, Duterte should not run [for president].”

Source:, Duterte a Red-coddler, claims Palparan, Oct. 2, 2015

Months later, on May 4, 2016, GMA News Online reported the former army general called Duterte a “traitor” for allegedly giving funds to the communist movement to buy weapons that “killed” soldiers and police. He also warned Filipinos of the “alliance” between Duterte and Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines:

Maghunos dili po tayo mga kababayan, mukhang sisirain ng dalawang ito ang ating maka demokrasya pamumuhay. Tutulan natin ang inaasam-asam ni Joma na communist government

(Fellow Filipinos, think carefully. It seems like these two [Duterte and Joma] will destroy our democratic way of life. Let’s stop Joma’s longing for a communist government).”

Source: GMA News Online, Palparan joins fray vs. Duterte, hits mayor’s NPA links, May 4, 2016

Palparan, in a May 5, 2016 interview with Rappler, also slammed Duterte for being “egoistic” and presenting Davao as “a haven for anti-crime or anti-drugs,” when he was supposedly a “friend” of the NPA:

“Davao is not a paradise. There are drugs. There are criminals. There’s killing of whoever’s enemy, and there’s the NPA. Police have been kidnapped there, how can you (Duterte) call it a paradise if your own police are being kidnapped by your NPA friends?”

Source:, Palparan on Duterte: ‘It’s fake bravery’, May 5, 2016

During his presidential campaign, Duterte claimed to be the country’s first leftist president. Responding to Palparan’s claims, Duterte admitted to “coddling the Reds,” as quoted in an Oct. 2, 2015 Facebook post by former Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol:

“Yes, I coddle the Reds, they are Filipinos after all…who are motivated by their principles and ideology.”

Source: Manny Piñol Facebook post, Duterte responds to “Red-coddler” tag, “YES, I CODDLE THE REDS, ALSO THE BLUES, WHITES AND YELLOWS,” Oct. 2, 2015

Palparan has been dubbed by activists as “The Butcher” for his role in the relentless campaign against the communist insurgency during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

On Sept. 17, 2018, he was convicted and sentenced to reclusion perpetua or 20 up to 40 years of imprisonment for the kidnapping and serious illegal detention of University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño back in 2006.

Palparan ran and lost in the 2016 senatorial race.



Mocha Uson Blog official Facebook page, EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW KAY RETIRED MAJ. GEN. PALPARAN, Aug. 22, 2019, Duterte a Red-coddler, claims Palparan, Oct. 2, 2015

GMA News Online, Palparan joins fray vs. Duterte, hits mayor’s NPA links, May 4, 2016, Palparan on Duterte: ‘It’s fake bravery, May 05, 2016

Manny Piñol official Facebook account, Duterte responds to “Red-coddler” tag,“YES, I CODDLE THE REDS, ALSO THE BLUES, WHITES AND YELLOWS,” Oct. 2, 2015

GMA News Online, Duterte declares he’ll be first leftist president, April 22, 2016

The Diplomat, Is the Philippines’ Duterte really a Leftist?, May 2, 2017

J De Lima Youtube account, Duterte: I will be the first Left President of the Philippines, April 24, 2016

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the Hugpong ng Pagbabago Convention, Aug. 17, 2018

ABS-CBN News, Fall of the ‘Butcher’: Reckoning comes after Palparan after 12 years, Sept. 18, 2018

BusinessWorld, Palparan, 2 others convicted for 2006 kidnapping, Sept. 17, 2018, Palparan found guilty, Sept. 17, 2018, Certified List of Candidates for National Positions, March 3, 2016



(Guided by the code of principles of the International
Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims,
flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and
debunks them with factual evidence.
Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)