December 29, 2011
Military Custody equals sanctuary for Osorio and Anotado – Desaparecidos
“Military custody is equal to sanctuary for Osorio and Anotado. We strongly demand they be placed in a regular jail,” said Concepcion Empeño, mother of one of the two disappeared University of the Philippines Students, Karen Empeño, and Vice-Chairperson of Families of Desaparecidos for Justice (Desaparecidos). Empeño’s statement was in reaction to the news that Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado and S/Sgt Edgardo Osorio are in military custody with the Philippine Army in Fort Bonifacio. Both are co-accused of Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr., in the kidnapping and serious illegal detention case filed by the mothers of the missing students.
“What are they doing in their homebase? This is adding insult to injury. Kami na ang nawalan, kami na ang naghahanap, kami pa ang nagsampa ng kaso, ngayon gusto pa nila kaming lokohin. (We were the ones who lost our children, we were the ones who went looking for them and we filed a case before the courts, now they want to make fools out of us.)” decried Linda Cadapan, mother of Sherlyn Cadapan, who together with Karen were taken by government soldiers in Hagonoy Bulacan on June 26, 2006
Cadapan added that the court failed to inform the complainants about the said soldiers’ request to be transferred to military custody. “We were not informed and were denied our right to oppose this preposterous move by the courts.”
Both mothers echoed the call that all those accused in the Cadapan-Empeño kidnapping and serious illegal detention case be detained at the Malolos Provincial Jail and not be given any special treatment like those granted to their master Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. “We appeal to Judge Teodora Gonzales, to withdraw the granting of the transfer of detention of both Lt. Col. Anotado and S/Sgt. Osorio to Fort Bonifacio and bring them to the Malolos Provincial Jail,” they said.
The group Desaparecidos expressed their opposition to the courts granting of military custody to Anotado and Osorio saying, “This is special treatment. It’s bad enough that GMA is in a hospital and not in a regular jail. For a military criminal to seek custody in his homebase is as good as seeking sanctuary. That’s definitely NOT detention. For all we know, they are in barracks with the privileges of a regular soldier and not in a detention facility,” Aya Santos, Desaparecidos Deputy Secretary said.
Santos added that the P-Noy government continues to deceive the public. Despite the arrest of former President Gloria Arroyo and the surrender of Osorio and Anotado in the Cadapan-Empeño case, these criminals continue to enjoy special treatment with Arroyo in hospital arrest at the Veteran’s Memorial Medical Center and Osorio and Anotado safe in their barracks at Fort Bonifacio. “The people deserve justice, but with the preferential treatment of criminals, we are not feeling it at the moment.” Santos said.
Meantime, with Palparan and Hilario on the loose, Desaparecidos vowed to pursue the people’s manhunt against the two. “We should remain vigilant and make sure they too will be brought to a regular jail, together with their co-accused.” Santos concluded. ###Reference: Lorena P. Santos, deputy Secretary General Contact Number: 4342837/ 09175415133