Palparan, 9 others indicted for Manalo brothers kidnapping
MANILA, Philippines – The Ombudsman has found probable cause to indict retired Major General Jovito Palparan Jr and 9 others for kidnapping and torturing two brothers in Bulacan in 2006 over suspicions that they were members of the New People's Army.
In a statement on Friday, July 24, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said Palparan and the suspects – most of them members of a para-military group – will be charged for two counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code.
Named Palparan's co-accused are:
- T/Msgt Rizal Hilario
- M/Sgt. Donald Caigas
- Michael dela Cruz
- Marcelo dela Cruz
- Jose dela Cruz
- Maximo dela Cruz
- Roman dela Cruz
- Randy Mendoza
- Rudy Mendoza
The last 7 names on the list are CAFGU Active Auxiliaries. They were also found liable for grave misconduct, along with Caigas.
Caigas will also be dismissed from service, his retirement benefits forfeited. He is perpetually disqualified from holding public office.
Palparan is accused of masterminding the abduction of two University of the Philippines students in Bulacan in June 2006.
According to the affidavit-complaint filed by Raymond Manalo and corroborated by his brother Reynaldo Manalo, the two were abducted on February 14, 2006 in San Ildefonso, Bulacan, for being suspected as members of the communist armed group.
They allege that they had since been detained and tortured until they were able to escape on August 13, 2007.
In its 28-page joint resolution, the Ombudsman's office said the Manalo brothers positively identified the perpetrators whose “concerted acts show that they agreed, expressly or impliedly, to commit the felony and forthwith decided to pursue it.”
It also directed the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices to investigate the other military personnel and other victims mentioned in the affidavits.
The administrative charges against Lieutenant General Hermogenes Esperon Jr, Major General Juanito Gomez, and Palparan were dismissed since they had retired before the filing of the case.
The criminal charges against Caigas and Gomez were dismissed due to their death. The charges against Esperon were dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.
A Malolos court ordered Palparan's arrest in 2009, but the general evaded arrest until soldiers captured him in August 2014.
In September 2014, the court ordered him transferred from the Bulacan Provincial Jail to the Philippine Army headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City – a move that human rights activists protested. – Rappler.com