2 January 2012
Mothers of missing victims Cadapan and Empeño ask Malolos court on its first hearing to bring surrendered soldiers back to regular jail
Today marks the first hearing at the Malolos City Regional Trial Court on the cases of kidnapping and serious illegal detention filed by the mothers of missing University of the Philippines activists Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño against “The Butcher” Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr., M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario, Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado, and S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio.
“We ask the Malolos Regional Trial Court Branch 14 to withdraw its grant to place the Lt. Col. Anotado and S/Sgt. Osorio in military custody. We believe that they should be put in a regular detention facility without any special treatment,” Linda Cadapan and Connie Empeño, mothers of Sherlyn and Karen respectively, said today.
Osorio and Anotado surrendered to the authorities on Dec. 21, 2011 after a warrant of arrest against was issued. It was during the Christmas holidays when Anotado and Osorio were permitted by the said court to be under military custody by grounds of threat to their security. Yet, Palparan and Hilario remain fugitives.
“Palparan and Hilario should face the court first. What they are doing is an act of cowardice,” the mothers of the twodesaparecidos said. “We continue to ask the Filipino nation to join us in the ‘People’s Manhunt’ for Palparan and Hilario. It is already up to us, the people, to help put butchers like Palparan to justice. If we let human rights violators walk free, more violations can happen in our country,” the searching mothers continue.
“We also ask the authorities to NOT stop until they find the two fugitives,” Cadapan and Empeno said.
Families of Desaparecidos for Justice (Desaparecidos), Karapatan and End Impunity Alliance join the two mothers and their pool of lawyers from the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers as they attend the hearing at the Malolos Court. A picket was also conducted outside the court premises to push for the immediate arrest of Palparan.
“If the Pnoy government is truly serious in putting notorious violators to justice, he could have declared the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Bill in Congress as a priority measure and pave way for its immediate passage. The crime of enforced disappearance should be the charges against Palparan and his cohorts, and not a kidnapping case,” Lorena P. Santos, deputy secretary general of Desaparecidos, says. “It is only through this bill that former president Gloria Arroyo and her minions will be held responsible for the crime of enforced disappearance,” Santos clears out.
“The Congress and this government should enforce this bill into law NOW,” Santos ends. ###Reference: Connie Empeno, mother of missing Karen Empeno Linda Cadapan, mother of missing Sherlyn Cadapan Lorena P. Santos, Deputy Secreatry General Contact Numbers: 4342837/09175415133