Press Release Reference: Marie
December 28, 2007 Mobile No. +63917 817 6274
Karapatan welcomes CA decision implicating Palparan
What will GMA do now to her highly praised general?
The human rights watchdog KARAPATAN today welcomed the Court of Appeals
decision implicating retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. on the
abduction, torture and illegal detention of the Manalo brothers, as they
reiterated calls to end impunity on human rights violations.
"This is encouraging news. We hope this will pave the way towards bringing
the Butcher of Mindoro, his cohorts and others of their kind, to face the
bar of justice," said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, secretary general of the
Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights (KARAPATAN).
Enriquez added that they "vowed to continue its support for the quest of
other victims and heirs in filing charges and monitor those still pending
in different fora here and abroad.
The Karapatan official also dared Malacañang to act on this development
and order the justice department to file charges against her favourite
military official. "Will Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo now lift a finger to
bring her favored general to face justice? We doubt that," Enriquez said.
Enriquez said the victims' families of Hustisya and Desaparecidos were
also elated at the release of a Protection Order for Adoracion Paulino,
mother-in-law of Sherlyn Cadapan who had been harassed by military
elements after Sherlyn appeared at her home in April.
Palparan, MSgts. Rizal Hilario and Donald Caigas were implicated in the CA
decision which issued the writ of amparo for the Manalo brothers. Brothers
Reynaldo, 38 and Raymund, 26 were abducted Feb. 14, 2006 in San Ildefonso,
Bulacan. They escaped in August this year, and had also testified in court
for the amparo petition for missing UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen
Empeño. Raymund had testified that he came face to face with Palparan
while in captivity in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.
In the amparo petition for the two UP students, Raymund had testified that
he learned from Sherlyn that she was raped by three men, among them was
"It's time that Palparan, Hilario, Caigas and other elements of the
military death squads be made to pay for their crimes," Enriquez said. She
said that the three had been implicated in the abduction and summary
execution of Karapatan secretary general Eden Marcellana and peasant
leader Eddie Gumanoy in Mindoro on April 22, 2003; and in the murder of
Bayan Muna leader Edilberto Napoles and frustrated murder of Ruel Landicho
in Mindoro on May 28, 2002 also in Mindoro.
Caigas, who is Palparan's
close aide and subordinate from the 204th IB, had been arrested on another
charge before but was able to post bail immediately. In the meantime,
while the previous cases against him were pending, he was reportedly sent
by the Philippine government to Haiti as part of the Philippine expedition
there and is said to head a new unit in the military.
In the past years, efforts to make Palparan and his men accountable had
been in vain, with charges questionably getting dismissed at the level of
the Department of Justice:
• On August 28, 2002, the Dept. of Justice dismissed allegedly for
"insufficiency of evidence" the charges of murder and frustrated murder
filed by Edilberto Napoles Sr. and Ruel Landicho against Col. Jovito S.
Palparan Jr. and his close aide M/Sgt. Rizal C. Hilario on the basis of an
eyewitness account of a survivor. The complainants had filed a petition
for review on Nov. 4 the same year but the same was denied.
• On the Eden Marcellana-Eddie Gumanoy case, on May 2003, the DOJ formed a
Task Force headed by former DOJ USec. Jose Calida to investigate the said
case. However, while it recommended filing of charges against MSgt. Caigas,
then Col. Palparan was not included. The DOJ Panel eventually exonerated
Caigas too purportedly due to "insufficiency of evidence," despite the
positive and credible identification by 4 survivors-witnesses.
Complainants filed a petition for review before the DOJ but Sec. Raul
Gonzales sat on it for almost two years before dismissing it
perfunctorily. The complaints have been dismissed by the Justice
department in February 2004.
• In May this year, an appeal was sent by the complainants to the Office
of the President questioning the decision made by the DOJ under Sec. Raul
Gonzales dismissing the charges of murder and frustrated murder against
Col. Jovito S. Palparan Jr. and M/Sgt. Donald Caigas. However, up to this
day, no action had come from Malacañang.
After trying practically all available local and domestic remedies and
fora – administrative, judicial, legislative - Landicho, along with the
families of Napoles, Gumanoy and Marcellana and another victim, Beng
Hernandez, were compelled to also file complaints for violations of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights with the United
Nations Human Rights Committee in 2006 in an effort to get justice.
Another victim, former security guard Oscar Leuterio, 49, had also filed
administrative and criminal charges against Palparan before the Ombudsman
in November 2006. Leuterio was abducted on April 17, 2006 in Doña Remedios
Trinidad, Bulacan, and was tortured and illegally detained until he was
released September the same year. He had testified in court for the
Cadapan-Empeño habeas corpus petition that Palparan talked to him to make
sure he was on the military side. ###
The Price of Democracy
Text and Photos by: Manman
A CHRISTMAS HOMILY
So hallowed and so gracious is the time (Hamlet, I, ii, 157)
by Rev. Francisco
Quickly now, the fullness of time.
Let us consecrate ourselves
To one another and to peoples of the world
In struggles for justice and peace:
Pronounce the Word over our
Broken bodies and lifeblood violated:
This is my Bread given up for you;
This is my Wine of covenant with you:
That we may become Bethlehems
Where He would be born;
That we may become His jars of sacred drink
Gladdening the hearts of heaven and earth.
The spirits of doubt and cynicism draw back,
So hallowed and so gracious is His time
CARD THIS CHRISTMAS
By Rev. Francisco R. Albano
When the desaparecidos
Are no longer just individuals
But crowds of protest;
When villages are razed to the ground
And communities are scattered to the winds,
And the ruling classes boast and jeer;
When the heart falters
In dark forests of fascist violence,
The tendency of the rates of profit to fall
Merely consoles the mind;
Lends fleeting sparkle to the sky. It is
A hobbled horse unable to carry the load.
In the year of Caesar
One seeks not only light but also a clearing,
Even if just a dewdrop of morning
But filled with a world and a face.
In this season of unrest and discontent
Grow strong on great stories of earth and sky
Recovered from the enemy:
Of collectives formed from underestimated
Forces of peasants and workers and allies,
Of martyrs reborn in the tide
Of new comrades of hill and plain.
And recall in song
The flower of Jesse in the harsh desert,
The barren and the virgin heavy with life,
Cold stars transformed into angelic hosts,
A magus lost but still on hand
For God broken and Man open.