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Guevarra: Palparan may be brought to Bilibid on Thursday

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Guevarra: Palparan may be brought to Bilibid on Thursday
The student activists went missing while doing fieldwork in Hagonoy, Bulacan in June 2006. The two have yet to be found.
Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The Malolos court has junked convicted kidnapper Jovito Palparan’s motion put an order to commit him to the New Bilibid Prison on hold.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a message to reporters that Malolos Regional Trial Court Branch 15 junked Palparan’s plea to hold the implementation of the mittimus or commitment order.

Guevarra added that Palparan may be transferred to the national penitentiary on Thursday morning.

Two weeks since conviction

More than two weeks have passed since Malolos RTC Branch 15 handed down the guilty convict against Palparan and his two men over the disappearance of two University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan in 2006.

The same court ordered Palparan’s commitment to the national penitentiary, but his lawyers said that a separate Malolos court hearing another case against him had also issued a commitment order that puts him in the Army Custodial Center.

Guevarra said that the court cited the circular from the Supreme Court-Office of the Court Administrator that “directs all trial court judges to cause the immediate transfer of convicted persons to the NBP, regardless of the pendency of a motion for reconsideration or an appeal.”

“I have personally discussed the matter with [Armed Forces of the Philippines] Chief Galvez, who has assured me that the AFP custodial center will immediately comply, without prejudice to the resolution of any further judicial review,” added Guevarra.

Victims' moms, lawyers: Transfer Palparan to Bilibid

Linda Cadapan said last week that officials behind Palparan’s continued stay at the AFP should be cited in contempt.

READ: Bring convicted kidnapper Palparan to Bilibid, victims' moms cry

Concepcion Empeño, meanwhile, said that the “military is showing they are above the law, just to protect their general who remains to be held accountable for numerous human rights violations aside from what they did to our daughters.” 

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, private prosecutors in the case, called Palparan’s continued military detention a “staycation.”

“Palaparan and his military coddlers and lawyers are running circles around the judicial system and taunting civilian supremacy over the military by stalling his transfer on flimsy and nonsensical grounds bordering on brazen contempt of court,” NUPL president Edre Olalia said in a statement.

It has been more than 12 years since Karen and Sherlyn went missing, but their mothers said that they would continue to wait for them as it will only be then that they will find closure.

READ: Victims' kin: Let 'The Butcher' Palparan rot in jail

JOVITO PALPARAN

KAREN EMPEñO

SHERLYN CADAPAN

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