The parents of two
missing students allegedly abducted by the military asked the Court of
Appeals to issue a warrant of arrest for Army commander Maj. Gen. Jovito
Palparan, who again failed to appear at the habeas corpus petition hearing
Palparan snubbed for
the fourth time the hearing for the habeas corpus petition filed at the
Court of Appeals 12th Division by Erlinda and Asher Cadapan,
and Concepcion Empeño, the parents of University of the Philippines
students Sherlyn Cadapan, 29 and Karen Empeño, 23.
The parents of the
missing students accused elements of the 56th Infantry
Battalion of abducting Cadapan and Empeño, and local farmer Manuel Merino
from a house in Hagonoy, Bulacan, on June 26. The 56th IB is
under the 7th Infantry Division headed by Palparan. The
controversial army official is among the five respondents being asked by
the appellate court to give information on the abduction of the three.
lawyer Rex Fernandez filed an omnibus motion that would order Palparan to
be bodily brought to court for questioning, and asked the court chaired by
Associate Elvi John Asuncion to issue a warrant of arrest.
former Northern Luzon Army commander and now Phil. Army chief Lt. Gen.
Romeo Tolentino, also failed to appear at the hearing along with one Arnel
Enriquez. Only Lt. Col. Rogelio Boac, commander of Task Force Malolos and
Lt. Francis Mirabella Samson, were present in today's hearing.
During the hearing,
lawyers for Palparan presented a medical certificate which said that the
general is suffering from an acute viral infection since Aug. 15 and would
need to rest for 10 days.
Palparan's condition apparently didn't prevent the general from attending
media engagements, noting that the army official was interviewed several
times on television.
Fernandez said he
will also file a motion to cite Palparan for contempt when the hearing
resumes on Sept. 7 .
Juan Paolo Alfonso,
UP student council chair blamed Palparan's absence for the snail-paced
court proceedings. He said that the general should testify in court his
pronouncements that the military has no custody of the two UP students.
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© 2006 Bulatlat
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