“The testimony of Adoracion ‘Nanay Adoring’ Paulino, Sherlyn Cadapan’s mother-in-law, clearly corroborates other witnesses’ statements that Sherlyn and Karen Empeño were abducted by the military. The disappearance of the two UP students happened almost seven years ago. The warrant of arrest issued against Gen. Palparan is more than a year now and the anti-disappearance law had just been enacted. Yet, the Aquino government remains a failure in rendering justice, with the continued non-arrest of Palparan,” Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan said.
The trial, the first for 2013, against Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. et al resumed without ‘The Butcher’. Paulino took the witness stand to tell the court that her daughter-in-law, Sherlyn Capadan, visited her, accompanied by her military custodians, ten months after her disappearance.
Paulino was the third eye witness who testified before the Malolos Regional Trial Court. Raymond Manalo, a farmer in Bulacan, stated that he was with the two UP students during military captivity in 2007. Manalo managed to escape with his brother later that year. Wilfredo Ramos, also a witness, said that Sherlyn and Karen were abducted by soldiers, dawn of June 26, 2006.
Paulino said, in a sworn statement, that on April 12, 2007, Cadapan went to her house in Calumpit, Bulacan. Cadapan was with three women and two men. Surprised to see Cadapan, Paulino asked where she had been. But Cadapan did not answer. She looked like a beggar. She was frail and skinny; sad and anxious. Cadapan went inside the house to look for her clothes but took her husband’s two shirts and one pair of pants instead when told that her clothes were turned over to her mother, Linda. Cadapan kissed and hugged her mother-in-law before leaving.
A day after Cadapan’s visit, four men, two were in military uniform and armed with long assault rifles, came to Paulino’s house. She was threatened and told not to entertain anymore visits from Cadapan. Paulino was forced to temporarily relocate because of the incident.
“As much as I am thankful for the courage of the witnesses to come out and tell the fate of our daughters, I am still disappointed that ‘The Butcher’ Palparan is still at large,” said Connie Empeño, mother of Karen. “With Palparan still free, the lives of our witnesses and their families are in danger,” she added.
“I challenge this government to seriously pursue Palparan and Rizal Hilario. It is almost seven years since our daughters disappeared. I hope that our daughter’s abductors and torturers will be in jail soon,” Empeño said.
“Until Palparan is captured, prosecuted and jailed, we will continue to regard his warrant of arrest as Aquino’s cheap gimmick to pacify the Filipino people’s discontent against the continuing impunity in the country,” said Palabay.###
Reference: Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General-Karapatan, 0917-3162831 Connie Empeño, Chairperson-Desaparecidos, 0928-2884623