Local October 26, 2011 | 11:20 am

Retired general in plane theft blames the President of “brutal persecution”

LA ROMANA, Dominican Republic. – Retired Army general Rafael Percival Peña, father of the Army lieutenant arrested in connection with the theft of a twin engine plane from the Airport at Higuero (AILI), defended his son’s integrity and called the case a "brutal persecution" against him. "It’s an abuse because of the position which I have taken against the corrupt Government and this system."

Interviewed by phone on La Romana radio station 107.5 FM, the retired officer revealed that his son John Percival Matos doesn’t work in the terminal around 3:30am Sunday the plane was stolen, property of the Puntacana group. "The one they need to look for is me, because I am in fact an airplane pilot; he (his son) is a helicopter pilot."

Percival Peña said on September 23 he was the victim of an ambush in which two vehicles participated, a case he affirms was denounced to Military Intelligence J-2. “In the letter I blame the president of the Republic and that hasn’t been investigated."

He said the incident occurred two days after having been informed, in the presence the political leader Luis Acosta Moreta (El Gallo), the journalist Jhonny Alberto Salazar and the priest Rogelio Cruz, that they were going “to cut out his and the latter’s tongue.”

The authorities say two Venezuelan pilots paid Percival Matos 350,000 dollars to help them sneak into AILI Airport.

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