Wilfredo Ramos said he heard the two UP students scream, and ask for help while being dragged by the armed men.
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan – An eyewitness positively identified an Army sergeant as one of the abductors of the two missing University of the Philippines students at the Bulacan court hearing today, May 25.
“Siya po,”(he is the one) said Wilfredo Ramos, as he pointed at Staff Sergeant Edgardo Osorio, whom he first identified in a preliminary hearing at the Department of Justice in 2011.
Ramos was only 14 years old when UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño and farmer Manuel Merino were abducted from their house in San Miguel village, Hagonoy, Bulacan on June 26, 2006. Osorio is one of the co-accused of retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. in the kidnapping and serious illegal detention of the victims.
Ramos said Osorio was the one who hogtied him and his father during the abduction. Though it was dark at their house, he said he was able to clearly see Osorio’s face when they were brought to his aunt’s house, where there was light. The armed men, who wore military uniforms, and introduced themselves as “vigilantes,” interrogated Ramos and his father on the identity of the three victims.
Palparan’s lawyer Diosab Formilleza attempted to debunk Ramos’ statement by presenting an affidavit that the witness signed a day after the abduction. The affidavit, which Formilleza described as the most accurate, did not state Osorio’s name or his description.
Ramos said Osorio’s name was not included because he did not know him then.
Ramos referred to the missing UP students as “ate” (big sister) during his testimony. He told Bulatlat.com they were like a “big sister” to him when he talked to them days before the abduction on June 26, 2006.
He said he heard the two UP students scream, and ask for help while being dragged by the armed men. The abductors forced Cadapan, Empeño and Merino into a vehicle.
Ramos said he later saw the vehicle at a military detachment in Iba village in Hagonoy, Bulacan. Soldiers, however, barred them from entering.
Erlinda Cadapan, mother of Sherlyn, told the media after the hearing that Ramos’ eyewitness account is proof that the abduction really took place.