On Palparan’s Conviction: A Tortoruously Long Wait, But Worthy

September 23, 2018

CTUHR commends Judge Alexander Tamayo in courageously standing for the truth, in convicting the remorseless Gen. Jovito Palparan and his men in the kidnapping and serious illegal detention of Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan. We hail and join the many families of victims of human rights violations and human rights defenders in the celebration of Erlinda Cadapan and Concepcion Empeño who had served justice, albeit partially, for the painful loss of their daughters to Palparan and his men. It is a torturous wait, but a worthy one affirming that in the struggle for justice for the two students, victory really comes.

The Malolos Regional Trial Court Branch 15 convicted Palparan, Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado and S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio on kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges last Monday, September 17, 2018.

CTUHR says that detention may be too light a punishment for those who have lost lives of activists and unionists in regions where Gen. Palparan left a trail of blood and earned him the title, `The Butcher’. But serving his remaining years in jail, will give a sense of peace to those families who lost their fathers and mothers during his reign of terror.

Rogelio Concepcion, union vice president of Solid Corporation in San Ildefonso, Bulacan who was abducted on March 6, 2006 remained missing to this day. Witness Raymund Manalo narrated to his grieving wife that he saw Concepcion briefly and heard him wailing and shouting his name, probably to be heard by others. Then he saw fire and heard nothing of Rogelio again. What was left was fear for their small children who, until today, are hoping that one day, their father will come home.

CTUHR calls on the Duterte government for the immediate transfer of Palparan and other two convicts to the New Bilibid Prison. CTUHR added that the longer the government is delaying the transfer, the more suspicions it generates fueling more fear that Palparan may be granted pardon by the Duterte administration. For the past years, Palparan was detained in Fort Bonifacio, instead of regular detention cell as his old age and health alibis were used. Also, with Palparan’s old boss, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo back in power and seeming to have close ties with Duterte, anything is possible.

CTUHR also points out that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo must be held equally liable for Palparan’s crimes, as his Commander-in-Chief. The Center recalls that during the time of Arroyo, they have accounted for 115 killings among the labor sector alone.###