“Amidst the din and reverie of the past holidays and some mercurial election inanities, we were glad to learn that the trial court correctly denied Gen. Palparan’s delusional bid to be granted bail.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – Lawyers of the two disappeared University of the Philippine students hailed the decision of a Bulacan court, which denied the motion for bail of accused retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan who is facing kidnapping and illegal serious detention of the missing victims.
“Amidst the din and reverie of the past holidays and some mercurial election inanities, we were glad to learn that the trial court correctly denied Gen. Palparan’s delusional bid to be granted bail,” said Edre Olalia, secretary general of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), in a statement issued Jan. 6.
Judge Alexander Tamayo of Bulacan Regional Trial Court Branch 15 issued the decision on Dec. 14, 2015.
Palparan and his co-accused are facing kidnapping and serious illegal charges for the enforced disappearance of UP students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan in Hagonoy, Bulacan. They disappeared in 2006 along with farmer Manuel Merino, who was feared to have been burned to death, according to the eyewitness account of torture victim Raymond Manalo.
“Given the fact that Maj. Gen. Palparan exercised effective authority and control and responsibility of command over all uniformed men and civilian personnel stationed at the 7th Infantry Division, it is probable if not feasible that he participated in, or knew or should have known the enforced disappearance of the two desaparecidos,” Judge Tamayo said.
Tamayo added that at this stage of the trial, Palparan’s denial of knowledge on the disappearance of the two University students is “uncorroborated” and “without any substantial contravention” and serves to substantiate the accusation against him.
On Nov. 5 last year, Palparan took the witness stand and said that the military under his command “cleared” villages that were “infested” with members of the New People’s Army, as part of its counterinsurgency program. He also virtually admitted that part of the “clearing operations” was to “physically disappear the infestation,” which he referred, not only to NPA members, but to progressive student organizations as well.
Olalia said that in Palparan’s testimony, the “stark evidence is actually sufficient enough to bring him to eternal damnation.”
“His puny denials are pregnant with meaning that even a huge leap faith cannot suspend disbelief of his immaculate pretensions,” he added.