CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — The Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Bulacan has found retired Army Major General Jovito Palparan and two other Army personnel guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention in connection with the disappearance of two University of the Philippines (UP) students in 2006.
Karen E. Empeno and Sherlyn T. Cadapan were seized from the house of one Raquel Halili in Barangay San Miguel, Hagonoy, this province on June 26, 2006.
In a 31-page decision by Judge Alexander Tamayo of RTC Branch 15 in the City of Malolos, Palparan’s co-accused, Lieutenant Colonel Felipe Anotado Jr. and Staff Sergeant Edgardo Osorio, were also found guilty of the same offense.
“All things considered, the evidence of the prosecution indubitably proved beyond reasonable doubt that the aforementioned elements of kidnapping and serious illegal detention obtained in the two cases at bar and the three accused should be panalized accordingly,” part of the decision read.
Another co-accused, M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario, who is still at large, was not included in the decision but there is a pending warrant for his arrest.
The former general and the three were all charged with kidnapping and serious illegal detention filed by the victims’ parents, Linda Cadapan and Conie Empeno.
Palparan, Anotado and Osorio were sentenced to reclusion perpetua or 20 to 40 years imprisonment and were ordered to pay PHP100,000 in civil indemnity and PHP200,000 for moral damages.
Tamayo ordered that the three be committed to the New Bilibid Prison.
After the verdict was issued, Palparan told mediamen that he would appeal his case. “It is not final. I’m going to appeal my case in the higher court,” the former general said,
After the reading of the decision, Palparan shouted and cursed at Judge Tamayo, accusing the latter of receiving bribe in some of his handled cases.
“It is a public knowledge here in the province of Bulacan, rumors, I’ve heard that he is receiving money,” the retired general said. Manny Balbin/PNA-northboundasia.com