Court urged to hold Palparan, Badoy, SMNI in contempt



MANILA – The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers filed a motion to cite in contempt anti-insurgency task force Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, the SMNI Network and convicted Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. for holding an interview inside the prison.

The two-hour interview was aired by SMNI News Channel with the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) last March 30.

The motion was filed at the Court of Appeals on April 19. According to the NUPL, Badoy and Palparan discussed the merits of the latter’s conviction by the Regional Trial Court Branch 15 of Malolos City for kidnapping and serious illegal detention. These cases are on appeal at the CA. Palparan also has ongoing cases undergoing trial at the Branch 19 of Malolos RTC. The lawyers said that this interview is a clear violation of the sub judice rule.

The sub judice rule “restricts comments and disclosures pertaining to the judicial proceedings in order to avoid prejudging the issue, influencing the court, or obstructing the administration of justice.”

Prior to Badoy’s interview, former Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) assistant secretary Esther Margaux “Mocha” Uson interviewed Palparan in 2019 when the latter was still in the Directorate for Reception and Diagnostics (DRD) discussing the merits of his ongoing cases for kidnapping, illegal detention, and serious physical injury at the Branch 19 of Malolos RTC.

Palparan is now at the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City serving life imprisonment, which is equivalent to 40 years, after being convicted for the kidnapping and serious illegal detention of University of the Philippines (UP) students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan who were forcibly disappeared in 2006.

Read: Victims of rights violations find justice as Palparan, 2 other Army officials convicted 

“All the foregoing clearly show that accused Maj. Gen. Palparan enjoys special privileges and is being given special treatment while serving his sentence for the crimes of which he has been convicted and being detained to answer for his other crimes,” the motion read.

Read: The Trail of Blood: Following Army Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr.

The NUPL added that the media interview “constitutes improper conduct that directly tends to degrade the administration of justice.”

“It is a rabid act of disinformation at the behest of the government’s counterinsurgency body where the appellant was hailed as a ‘hero,’ while the disappeared victims and the undersigned counsel were red-tagged as ‘communist terrorists. Worse, the charges filed before the courts a quo were branded as ‘trumped-up,’” the group said.

The NUPL added that the interview is “nothing more than hate speech against the victims who are still missing to this day, as well as the human rights defenders who have been seeking accountability for their disappearance.”

“As such, it cannot be gratuitously invoked as a valid exercise of the freedoms of speech and of the press,” the motion said.

The NUPL cited section 5 (d), part 4, Chapter 5 of the 2000 Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Operations Manual which clearly states that “The Superintendent may deny the request for interview in any of the following instances: x x x d. The inmate is the accused or otherwise involved in a pending criminal case.”

They added that civil and political rights of a person deprived of liberty are deemed restricted while serving his sentence.

“Clearly, the request for media interview by SMNI of appellant Palparan should not have been granted, but denied outright,” the NUPL said.

Read: Lawyers hit ‘special privileges given to Palparan, the Butcher’

Aside from contempt of court, the NUPL also asked the CA to order the BuCor to immediately transfer Palparan to the maximum security facility of the NBP and deny all requests for interview from the media and to terminate all special privileges and treatment being accorded to him.

Palparan is called “the Butcher” by activists for gross human rights violations perpetrated under his command during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. (RTS, RVO) (

Click here for Bulatlat archives on Palparan’s atrocities.

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