The Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Bulacan has found Retired Army Major General Jovito Palparan and two other army personnel guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention over the disappearance of University of the Philippines (UP) students who were missing and kidnapped in 2006.
The two missing UP student- activists identified as Karen Empeno and Sherylin Cadapan were both abducted in June 26, 2006 in Hagonoy, Bulacan.
In a 31-pages verdict decision by Judge Alexander Tamayo of Branch 15, RTC in the City of Malolos, aside of Palparan, his co-accused, Lieutenant Colonel Felipe Anotado Jr. and Staff Sergeant Edgardo Osorio, were also found guilty of the same charges.
Another co-accused M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario who is still at large was not included in the decision but still with pending warrant for his arrest.
Palparan and the three were all charged of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention filed by victims parents Linda Cadapan and Conie Empeno.
Empeno and Cadapan, mother of the victims were both happy with the verdict order that lasts for almost seven years of trial in the court after it was filed in December of 2011. A warrant of arrest was immediately issued where Palparan was arrested after three years of hiding in 2014.
The three were sentenced to reclusion perpetua or 20 to 40 years imprisonment and were ordered to pay P100,000 in civil indemnity and P200,000 for moral damages.
Tamayo ordered that the three be committed to the New Bilibid Prison.
Palparan after the verdict told media men that he will appeal his case.
After the reading of decision, Palparan shouted and cursed in anger to Judge Tamayo accusing the judge receiving bribe money in some of his handled case. “it is a public knowledge here in Bulacan, humors I’ve heard that he is receiving money,” Palparan said.
The convicted suspects were tagged by brothers Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo as the culprits and responsible for the abduction of Cadapan and Empeno.
Manalo brothers were also allegedly abducted by the same Palparan’s group and were hid in different detachments and safehouses before they were managed to escaped somewhere in Pangasinan also in 2006.
They revealed during the hearing that they saw Cadapan and Empeno in a safehouse where they were also hid and sometimes happened that they also saw then General Palparan and his men.