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CA upholds Palparan conviction

Evelyn Macairan - The Philippine Star
CA upholds Palparan conviction
The CA decision penned by Associate Justice Angelene Mary Quimpo-Sale was issued ahead of the 16th anniversary of the disappearance of Empeño and Cadapan on June 26, 2006.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed the conviction of retired Army general Jovito Palparan Jr. in connection with the kidnapping and disappearance of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan in 2006. In a 61-page decision promulgated on May 31, the CA’s First Division ruled that Palparan and two other military officers, Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado Jr. and S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio, were proven guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

The CA decision penned by Associate Justice Angelene Mary Quimpo-Sale was issued ahead of the 16th anniversary of the disappearance of Empeño and Cadapan on June 26, 2006.

On Sept. 17, 2018, the Malolos Regional Trial Court in Bulacan convicted Palparan, Anotado and Osorio. They were ordered to pay the heirs of the victims P300,000 in moral and civil damages.

They were sentenced to life in prison without eligibility for parole.

The CA modified the lower court’s decision in terms of penalty and interest.

“The damages imposed are subject to six percent interest per year from the date of finality of this decision until full payment,” the appeals court said.

Palparan and his co-accused appealed the decision by questioning the testimonies of prosecution witnesses, but the CA still found the accounts credible.

“The inconsistencies involved minor matters, which are irrelevant to the case and do not affect the established elements of the crime charged. These inconsistencies indicate that the testimonies of the witnesses were not rehearsed,” the CA said.

The appellate court ruled that the witnesses testified that they saw Empeño and Cadapan when the students were detained at military camps in Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Zambales.

“The testimonies of these witnesses are credible, clear and categorical,” the CA said.

Empeño and Cadapan were 22 and 29 years old, respectively, when they were kidnapped by military men in June 2006.

Tagged as “The Butcher” by activitists, Palparan is being held at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

He sparked outrage in March for his interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy’s television network SMNI, which lacked clearance from the court.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered Bureau of Corrections chief Gerald Bantag to explain why he should not face sanctions over the unauthorized media interview of Palparan.

CA

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