MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) on Monday, September 17, said that they were “extremely elated” that justice has caught up with retired army major general Jovito Palparan.
In a statement, the private prosecutors of the case said the conviction showed they were on the “side of truth and justice,” adding that it should send a message to all human rights violators that “rightful retribution will come in time.”
“His conviction sends the message that cocky perpetrators of hideous human rights violations will meet their match in the fortitude of the mothers, the strength of the mass movement, the courage of human rights defenders, and the value of good lawyering for the people,” the group said.
Palparan was found guilty of kidnapping and illegal detention by the Malolos Regional Trial Court Branch 15 in relation with the disappearance of University of the Philippines Students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan in 2006. (READ: People of the Philippines vs Jovito Palparan)
Aside from Palparan, also convicted were Lieutenant Colonel Felipe Anotado and S/Sgt Edgardo Osorio. The conviction comes 4 years since Palparan was arrested after going into hiding in response to Malolos RTC’s arrest order. (TIMELINE: The search for Jovito Palparan)
A decorated general, Palparan was notorious for his handling of then-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s counter-insurgency program. The several human rights violations he alleged committed had earned him the monicker Berdugo or The Butcher.
“Despite tremendous odds and difficulties, the suffering mothers of Sherlyn and Karen through their supporters and lawyers have overcome what seemed to be a wild shot at a rare chance to make Gen. Palparan and his likes accountanble,” NUPL said. – Rappler.com
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