Claim: Retired general Jovito Palparan, currently incarcerated at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), was only doing his job when he fell prey to the attacks of biased media and those in power.
Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video of “Nancy Bicolana” on November 18 has over 7,100 views, 550 likes, and 166 comments. A Facebook video featuring segments of the YouTube video has garnered over 14,000 reactions, 2,200 comments, and 256,000 views.
The claim about Palparan was brought up to make the point that suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag, accused mastermind of the Percy Lapid slay, was being needlessly persecuted. It claimed that like Bantag, Palparan was unjustly punished by biased media and officials in government.
The bottom line: On September 17, 2018, Palparan was found guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention in the 2006 disappearance of University of the Philippines (UP) students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.
His conviction was based on sworn and corroborated testimonies. Palparan’s appeal to overturn the conviction had been denied on May 31, 2022 by the Court of Appeals (CA).
Credible, corroborated, and affirmed: The conviction by the Malolos Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 15 hinged on the testimony of Raymond Manalo detailing how he had been illegally detained and tortured with the still missing Empeño and Cadapan.
His testimony had been corroborated by his brother, Reynaldo Manalo, who had been detained with him. His testimony in the granted 2007 writ of amparo petition filed by him and his brother Reynaldo (affirmed by the Supreme Court in 2008), and in the writ of habeas corpus petition granted in 2008 by the surviving kin of Empeño and Cadapan (affirmed by the SC in 2011), had been deemed “clear and convincing” by the Supreme Court. His testimony had been deemed credible yet again in the 61-page CA decision.
Far from powerless: Palparan was a former congressman and a retired general. While incarcerated, he was allowed an interview with blogger Mocha Uson on August 23, 2019, and with SMNI News channel on March 31, 2022 – opportunities not afforded to other inmates. The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) had claimed that Palparan had been given special treatment while in custody. – Pola Regalario/Rappler.com
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