Lawyer warns AFP as Palparan remains under its custody
A lawyer from the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) has warned the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on the possibility of being cited in contempt of court if convicted ex-Army Major General Jovito Palparan continues to stay under its custody.
Atty. Edre Olalia on Monday said they have received information that Palparan is still at Fort Bonifacio despite the court’s immediate order to commit him to the New Bilibid Prison.
“The military and his coddlers are liable for contempt of court for open defiance or disobedience to an explicit judicial order to immediately commit the convict to the National Penitentiary as all convicted felons are,” he said in a message to reporters.
Olalia said they will act on the matter by filing a manifestation and motion before the court regarding the continued stay of Palparan under AFP’s custody.
“Why is the ‘Butcher’ still in his Army playground one week after he was convicted and ordered committed to the National Penitentiary?” he asked.
The Malolos Regional Trial Court has found Palparan and two others – Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado, Jr. and Staff Sgt. Edgardo Osorio – guilty on two counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention related to the disappearance of University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno on June 26, 2006.
The court sentenced them to reclusion perpetua and ordered to pay P100,000 for civil indemnity and P200,000 for moral damages for each count.
AFP Spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo previously said the AFP will respect the court’s decision against the soldiers and will abide by law.
“As it has been and always will be, the position of the AFP is submission to the majesty of the courts and respect for the rule of law,” he said.
But for Olalia, the special treatment that Palparan has been allegedly receiving since he was arrested is an indication that AFP is hiding something.
“Most disturbingly is the undeserved special treatment he is given since he was arrested since 2014. That is not only brazen impunity but is also open disrespect that undermines the justice system all the more and validates well-founded fears the Army has something up its sleeves,” he said. /kga
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