Palparan asks CA to quash kidnap, illegal detention case

By Carmela Reyes-Estrope | Inquirer Central Luzon –

29 September 2014

CITY OF MALOLOS, Philippines — The lawyers of retired Army Maj. Gen.
Jovito Palparan Jr. asked the Court of Appeals, on Monday, to quash the
kidnapping and serious illegal detention case filed against him for the
2006 abduction of two University of the Philippines students in Bulacan

A security unit composed of soldiers took Palparan to the Bulacan
Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 14 here on Monday for his trial for
the disappearance of UP students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.

Palparan, called the “butcher” of political activists, is detained at
the Philippine Army Custodial Center (PACC) in Metro Manila, after the
court, on Sept. 15, allowed him to be transferred out of the Bulacan
Provincial Jail due to concerns about his security.

Judge Teodora Gonzales of the RTC Branch 14 here said she would continue
hearing Palparan’s case. “Unless there is a temporary restraining order
[from the CA] to suspend the proceedings, the court will continue with
this case,” she said.

Lawyer Diosab Formilleza, Palparan’s counsel, said they asked the CA to
review Gonzales’ earlier denial of his client’s motion to quash the
charges, arguing that the charges against him, like serious illegal
detention, were applicable to civilians and not active military personnel.

Formilleza said Palparan, the former commander of the Army’s 7th
Infantry Division based in Nueva Ecija province, was charged with
kidnapping and serious illegal detention in connection with the
abduction and disappearance of the UP students before he retired from
military service.

But the lawyers representing the families of Cadapan and Empeño said the
CA already denied a similar motion filed in 2011 by Palparan’s lawyers.

Lawyer Edre Olalia, also the secretary general of the National Union of
Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), said: “Palparan’s latest moves to recycle
petitions to stop the proceedings have already been denied by the RTC
and dismissed by the CA years ago … They are using the law and legal
procedures and all its effects to frustrate justice.”

“This [new CA petition is] part of the twist and turns of the government
officials who are coddling Palparan … We want [to hear President
Aquino’s] position on Palparan,” he said.

Olalia also criticized Palparan’s detention in the PACC.

“Now, coming from the Army detention [facility] in Fort Bonifacio, they
are 42 kilometers away from this court with the government’s money being
spent on travel and all the bodyguards escorting him,” Olalia said.

Palparan’s detention in Fort Bonifacio should no longer be an issue,
said lawyer Narzal Mallares, another Palparan counsel.

The court has set a pretrial conference on Oct. 20.

After Gonzales ended the hearing, Palparan’s security detail failed to
bring him out of the courtroom immediately because of a rally staged
outside the RTC building.

Erlinda Cadapan, mother of one of the missing UP students, assailed the
policemen and soldiers guarding Palparan.

“Why are you securing and protecting this man? Shouldn’t you be
protecting people who lost loved ones, and people like us who are
seeking justice?” she yelled through a megaphone.

The policemen had to open a path through the crowd using their shields
to allow Palparan to get into a waiting van.

As the van drove off, the protesters threw baby bottles, some marked
with the phrase: “Palparan parusahan, huwag i-baby (Punish Palparan,
don’t treat him like a baby).”