NUPL, Karapatan laud CA’s affirmation of Palparan’s conviction
MANILA, Philippines — The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) and human rights group Karapatan welcomed on Sunday the Court of Appeals’ affirmation of the conviction of retired Army Major General Jovito Palparan.
Palparan and his cohorts were charged for the kidnapping and serious illegal detention of University of the Philippines (UP) students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.
The groups said the legal victory was possible because of the persistence and perseverance for justice.
“Rare and far between as they are, the accountability of remorseless human rights violators will come if the victims, families, human rights defenders and persist. The facts, evidence and the law are so overwhelming as to have it any other way,” said Edre Olalia, president of NUPL, which served as the families’ counsels.
“We certainly need these affirmations that in time, one can not get away with rights abuses just like that. Nor will enablers be able to obfuscate the truth and rescript the facts,” he added.
Olalia said the affirmation is a “loud and clear warning to those who entertain the thought that they are invincible and untouchable just because they are in power,” noting that “there will be no meaningful and real unity if there is continuing impunity.”
Karapatan likewise asserted the need to pursue justice and accountability thoroughly.
“This recent legal victory affirms the need to pursue justice and accountability through and through – despite threats, harassment, reprisals, and patronage by those in power of these human rights violators,” the group said.
“This could not have been possible without the strength and perseverance of the parents of Karen and Sherlyn, the witnesses, Desaparecidos (families and friends of the disappeared), the lawyers and human rights groups, the international community and the Filipino people who kept watch and remained vigilant throughout the years,” they continued.
Karapatan also added that Palparan should be pushed to disclose the whereabouts of other desaparecidos.
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