Palparan conviction warning to rights violators – Leyte group
TACLOBAN CITY — A human rights group based here on Tuesday called for celebration after the conviction of retired Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. for the abduction and disappearance of two University of the Philippines students.
Palparan, former commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division, and two other ex-military officers were sentenced on Monday to life imprisonment for the kidnapping and illegal detention of Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.
The two women were never seen again after they were taken in Hagonoy, Bulacan province, in 2006.
“This fateful day marks the first step toward attainment of justice for victims of human rights violations. Let us celebrate today this significant victory in our hard and long-fought struggle for justice,” Katungod-Sinirangan Bisayas said in a statement.
The group said the conviction of Palparan should serve as a warning to other violators of human rights.
Palparan served as commander of the 8th Infantry Division in Catbalogan City, Samar province, from February to September 2005.
The rights group reported 36 extrajudicial killings and 712 rights abuses, including torture and harassment, during Palparan’s assignment in Catbalogan.
Alexander Philip Abinguna, regional coordinator of Katungod-Sinirangan Bisayas, said the group would press its campaign for the protection and preservation of human rights.
“We will make sure that the government and its [armed] agents [will] be held accountable every time they commit human rights abuses,” Abinguna said.
He said seven farmers in Eastern Visayas had been summarily executed since the Duterte administration came to power in 2016.
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