Palparan cleared in kidnap of 2 farmers

Philippine Tribune
Philippine Tribune

Ramon Efren Lazaro – The Philippine Star

October 7, 2023 | 12:00am

The brothers had failed to identify the men who took them from their farm in Barangay Buhol na Mangga in San Idelfonso, Bulacan in February 2006, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) private prosecutor Julian Oliva said, quoting the ruling of Malolos Regional Trial Court Branch 19 Judge Francisco Felizmenio.

STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — A court in Bulacan yesterday acquitted retired Army general Jovito Palparan in connection with the kidnapping and torture of farmers Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo.

The brothers had failed to identify the men who took them from their farm in Barangay Buhol na Mangga in San Idelfonso, Bulacan in February 2006, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) private prosecutor Julian Oliva said, quoting the ruling of Malolos Regional Trial Court Branch 19 Judge Francisco Felizmenio.

The Manalo brothers said they were seized on suspicion of being communist rebels. They were able to escape on Aug. 13, 2007.

Dissapointed with the ruling, Raymond left the courtroom following the reading of the verdict. He said the fight for justice is not finished.

Oliva said the filing of a motion for reconsideration is among the options being considered by the prosecution.

NUPL chairperson Edre Olalia said the ruling was ”simply unbelievable if not disturbingly shocking.”

Karapatan secretary-general Cristina Palabay said the court ”junked the truthful, credible and consistent accounts” of the Manalo brothers.

Palabay said several courts affirmed the testimonies of the siblings in the kidnapping, rape and torture of University of the Philippines students Karen Cadapan and Sherlyn Empeño and another farmer, Manuel Merino.

The brothers said they met the students and Merino at the barracks of Camp Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan, where they were held.

Raymond claimed he witnessed the torture and rape of Cadapan and Empeño.

In May last year, the Court of Appeals affirmed the September 2018  ruling of a Malolos court convicting Palparan and two other military officers over the kidnapping and disappearance of Empeño and Cadapan. — Nillicent Bautista, Emmanuel Tupas

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