De Lima warns Duterte after Palparan’s conviction
Senator Leila de Lima cautioned President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday that there would be a time of judgment for human rights violators, citing the conviction or former-Major General Jovito Palparan.
“Kay Duterte at kanyang mga kasabwat at tauhan: paalala sa inyo ang nangyari kay Palparan. Anuman ang tapang ninyo ngayon at kawalang pakundangan sa mga karapatan ng mga Pilipino – kasama na ang kanilang buhay at kalayaan – huhusgahan at pananagutin kayo sa inyong mga kabuktutan,” De Lima said in a statement on Wednesday.
Palparan was found guilty by Judge Alexander Tamayo of the Malolos Regional Trial Court for kidnapping and serious illegal detention of University of the Philippines (UP) students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno in 2006.
De Lima, a former chair of the Commission on Human Rights and secretary of justice, is detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame while facing drug charges. She allegedly took advantage of her position and is accused of conniving with convicts at the New Bilibid Prison to peddle illegal drugs, from which she supposedly earned millions.
Aside from Palparan, also found guilty of the crime were Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado, Jr. and Staff Sgt. Edgardo Osorio. An alias warrant was also issued against another accused, Master Sgt. Rizal Hilario, who remains at large.
Palparan, Anotado and Osorio were sentenced to reclusion perpetua and were ordered to pay civil and moral damages to the family of the students.
“Sa mga nasa kapangyarihan at sa kanilang mga alipores na nag-iisip at kumikilos na animo’y sila na ang batas: pakatandaan nyo na mananagot sa takdang panahon ang lahat ng nagkakasala,” the senator said
“Sa mga yumuyurak sa karapatan ng kapwa at gumagawa ng mga krimen at pag-aabuso: alalahanin ninyo na ang katotohanan at katarungan ay hindi mahahadlangan. Lagi itong mananaig sa kalaunan,” she added.
Several civil society groups, including some politicians, have criticized the administration’s war on drugs for allegedly violating human rights.
The government say about 4,500 have been killed in intensified police antidrug operations, claiming most of the fatalities violently resisted arrest. Opposition to the drug war, meanwhile, say that more than 20,000 have been killed in the drive.
An academe research counted more than 5,000 killed since Duterte launched his war on drugs in July 2016.
Duterte is facing complaints before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly perpetrating “crimes against humanity”, violating the Article 7 of the Rome Statute. The ICC has initiated a preliminary examination on deaths linked to the drug war to determine if it merits bringing charges against Duterte. /cbb
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