Palparan’s conviction a warning to human rights violators — lawyers, activists
Several lawyers and activists hailed the conviction of Major General Jovito Palparan on Monday, saying it is a warning to “all human rights violators.”
“We welcome the verdict rendered against “The Butcher”. We congratulate the families, lawyers and human rights advocates who worked tirelessly to achieve justice for Karen and She,” Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes said in a statement.
“This is a warning to all human rights violators. Impunity is not forever. The time of reckoning has come,” Reyes added.
The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) seconded Reyes’ statement, warning other violators of a retribution.
“We really do wish he faces perdition that he brought upon himself. And that his conviction be a signal to all other human rights violators especially of the worst kinds that rightful retribution will come in time,” NUPL said.
“His conviction sends the message that cocky perpetrators of hideous human rights violations will meet their match in the fortitude of the mothers, the strength of the mass movement, the courage of human rights defenders, and the value of good lawyering for the people,” they noted.
Palparan was found guilty by Judge Alexander Tamayo of the Malolos Regional Trial Court for kidnapping University of the Philippines (UP) students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno in 2006.
Aside from Palparan, also found guilty of the crime were Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado, Jr. and Staff Sgt. Edgardo Osorio. An alias warrant against the other accused M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario, who remains at-large, was also released.
All three were sentenced with a punishment of reclusion perpetua, and were ordered to pay civil and moral damages to the family of the students.
According to NUPL, they are elated that the families attained justice, despite the difficulties that they encountered.
“We are extremely elated that justice has finally caught up with the coward Butcher. The law and evidence are not only on our side this time around but we are on the side of truth and justice,” NUPL said.
“Despite tremendous odds and difficulties, the suffering mothers of Sherlyn and Karen through their supporters & lawyers have overcome what seemed to be a wild shot at a rare chance to make Gen. Palparan and his likes accountable,” they added. /VVP
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