AFP hit for ‘coddling’ Palparan 2 weeks after his conviction | Inquirer News

AFP hit for ‘coddling’ Palparan 2 weeks after his conviction

/ 05:15 AM September 30, 2018

ARMY CUSTODY Retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan is still enjoying the relative comfort of the Army’s custodial center two weeks after he was sentenced to serve life imprisonment in the national penitentiary for the kidnapping of two missing University of the Philippines students 12 years ago. —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

Human rights groups and the families of two female students who remain missing after they were abducted by soldiers 12 years ago denounced the military on Saturday for continuing to “coddle” retired Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan two weeks after he was found guilty of  kidnapping and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Linda Cadapan, mother of University of the Philippines (UP) student Sherlyn Cadapan, said the Armed Forces of the Philippines was committing a crime and a “travesty of justice” for not transferring Palparan and his two fellow convicts to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) to serve their sentence.


“Who coddles criminals but criminals, too? We believe military officials who are making Palparan stay at the Army Custodial Center should be cited for contempt,” Cadapan said.


The Malolos, Bulacan, Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 15 found Palparan, Col. Felipe Anotado and Staff Sgt. Edgardo Osorio guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention on Sept. 17.

Cadapan made the statement after confirming that Palparan, along with Osorio and Anotado remained in AFP custody, contrary to claims on Tuesday by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

‘This should stop’

Concepcion Empeño, mother of the other missing UP student, Karen Empeño, said that by insisting on keeping Palparan at the Army Custodial Center in Fort Bonifacio, the AFP was showing that the military was “above the law.”

“They seem to show they wield power over civilians and the people, their same mindset when they took away our daughters and all the other disappeared persons, and killed many activists and ordinary people. This should stop,” she said.

Hustisya, an organization of families of victims of extrajudicial killings, said Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Louie Villanueva admitted that Palparan remained at the custodial center, where the former general has been detained since his arrest in 2014.


“Now, they are even proud of coddling a criminal and acting in contempt of court. The AFP is making a mockery out of the cries for justice of the victims of Jovito Palparan, who remain under the protection of their ranks,” said Evangeline Hernandez, Hustisya chair.

Army’s explanation

In a text message to the Inquirer, Villanueva explained that the Army needed clarification from RTC Branch 15 because of conflicting orders from Branch 19, where Palparan—called “The Butcher” by human rights groups—was charged in a separate illegal detention case.

Villanueva said Branch 15 ordered Palparan committed to the NBP, but Branch 19 directed the Army to keep him in its custody.

Villanueva added that the Army also was waiting for Branch 15’s decision on a motion for reconsideration and a motion to hold the implementation of the commitment filed by Palparan following his conviction.

“The Philippine Army for its part have already submitted a motion clarifying to the honorable court the appropriate disposition of General Palparan. Upon receipt of an order from the court regarding the said clarification, the Philippine Army will immediately implement such order,” Villanueva said.

Hernandez said the military was  doing “everything they can to elude accountability, and enjoy impunity.”

She challenged Malacañang to order Palparan’s immediate commitment to the national penitentiary.

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“If you really respect the guilty verdict and want justice for the victims, tell your military men to transfer Palparan to NBP the soonest. Prove that civilian authority prevails in the land, or else show that the Duterte government is under the heels of the military, short of a military rule,” Hernandez said. —With a report from Jaymee T. Gamil


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