CA uphold Palparan conviction

June 5, 2022 Hector Lawas 117 views

THE Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld the conviction of retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. and several others over the 2006 disappearance of University of the Philippines (UP) students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño.

This as the appellate court’s First Division affirmed the joint decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 15, Malolos City, in Criminal Cases Nos. 3905-M-2011 and 3906-M-2011, finding accused-appellants Palparan, Lt. Col. Felipe G. Anotado, Jr., and S/SGT Edgardo Osorio guilty of the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

“Accused-appellants are sentenced to the penalty of reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole. The damages imposed are subject to six percent (6%) interest per annum from the date of finality of this Decision until full payment of the same, ” the 61-page CA decision, which was promulgated on May 31, 2022, read in part.

In arriving at the decision penned by Associate Justice Angelene Mary Quimpo-Sale, the CA rejected Palparan’s assertion that the trial court erred in its findings of conspiracy against them.

“As presented and proved by the prosecution, the facts established the concerted acts of the 3 accused-appellants aimed at carrying out the unlawful intent of taking and detaining the 2 victims.

Although accused apellants Anotado and Palparan were not physically present during the actual taking of the 2 women, their acts of visiting them in Camp Tecson, Bulacan and Limay, Bataan manifestly show that they acquiesced to the taking and
subsequent detention of the 2 women and then they actually and directly participated in the women’s continued detention, which acts are indicative of a joint purpose, concert of action and
community of design, ” the CA said.

The CA also noted that Palparan, as the then commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division, he had overall control and supervision within his area of responsibility, which covers Camp

” Clearly from the above facts, the 2 women were forcibly taken from where they were staying in Bulacan and subsequently placed in several areas where their liberty was restricted. The
crime of serious illegal detention consists not only of placing a person in an enclosure, but also of detaining him or depriving him in any manner of his liberty, ” the CA said.

Palparan recently hogged the headlines anew for his media interview while under incarceration.

The National Union of People’s Lawyers has sought Palparan’s transfer from the New Bilibid Prison’s minimum security compound to the maximum security facility.

According to the NUPL, Palparan should be transferred to the maximum security compound having been convicted for a crime punishable by reclusion perpetua (20 to 40 years imprisonment).

Also, the NUPL demanded that future requests for media interviews by Palparan should be denied just to allay public suspicion that the erstwhile military officer was being accorded preferential treatment while behind bars.

Laat Friday, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra required Bureau of Corrections chief Gerald Bantag to explain why he should not be sanctioned for allowing the media interview of Palparan.

Bantag was required to explain in writing within 10 days upon receipt of the show cause order, Guevarra said in a message to reporters.

“Yes, (a show cause order was sent to him) last May 30, after the DOJ (Department of Justice) had conducted its own assessment of the incident,” the outgoing secretary said.

According to Guevarra, prison rules like media access to inmates may have been violated when Palparan was interviewed.

” Relevant rules under the manual of operations of the BUCOR were not properly observed.”

“Rules on media access of PDLs (persons deprived of liberty), especially high-profile PDLs, which require the authorization of the justice secretary and also observance of reasonable conditions, such as no discussion of any pending cases before the media,” Guevarra said.