Public urged to help hunt down Palparan

MANILA – The mothers of the two missing University of the Philippines (UP) students once again called on the public once to help them search for retired Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr., the main accused in kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges.

Mrs. Erlinda Cadapan, mother of Sherlyn, led members of Desaparecidos, Karapatan and other supporters in posting ‘Wanted Palparan’ posters along Commonwealth Ave. in Quezon City, Dec. 27. Her daughter and Karen Empeno have been missing since June 26, 2006.

Palparan, former commanding officer of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, has gone hiding after the Malolos Regional Trial Court Branch 14 issued a warrant of arrest against him and three of his men.

Authorities placed a P500,000 bounty on Palparan’s head.

Palparan, through his lawyer, filed an omnibus motion to the local court seeking the recall of the arrest warrant and the hold departure order issued against him.

Human rights group Karapatan called on the government to search the military camps in the country. “In a sudden twist of fate, he might be seeking refuge in the same camps where Karen, Sherlyn and other victims of enforced disappearances were held and tortured,” said Roneo Clamor, deputy secretary general of Karapatan.

Clamor said they would not be surprised if the Armed Forces are coddling him “as they are like-minded.”

“It’s time for you to face your sins,” Mary Guy Portajada, secretary general of Desaparecidos told Palparan. “What are you so afraid of – that you will be tortured and disappeared like what you did to your victims?” Portajada said.

Two of the four accused, Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado and S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio surrendered to the authorities after the Malolos RTC issued warrants of arrest. The two were transferred to the Philippine Army’s camp at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City. Another accused, M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario, remains at large.

Portajada warned Palparan and Hilario’s coddlers that they are also answerable to the law.

Desaparecidos called on the rest of the Filipino people who may have any information on the whereabouts of Palparan and Hilario to contact the National Bureau of Investigation (5238231 to 38) or Karapatan (4354146).

Text by Ronalyn V. Olea / Photos courtesy of Karapatan

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