The infamous retired Gen. Jovito Palparan has red-tagged human rights organizations and human rights lawyers in a bid to drop the kidnapping charges filed against him in relation to the enforced disappearance of two university students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.
Palparan took the witness stand yesterday, February 15, 2017, before a Bulacan Regional Trial Court.
In his judicial affidavit, Palparan said he is a “victim of a fishing expedition” by so-called “militant organizations,” which he claimed are front organizations of the Communist Party of the Philippines, its armed wing the New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
These organizations, Palparan claimed, are human rights group Karapatan, the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, and known human rights lawyers Edre Olalia, Chel Diokno, and current Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te.
The latter two, he added, are “activist lawyers” who assisted farmer Raymond Manalo, the key witness against Palparan and his co-accused.
In a statement, Karapatan referred to Palparan’s accusation as “the desperation of the guilty.”
“The testimonies and evidence against Palparan are so damning that he is squirming his way from full accountability by rehashing lines which the military uses to justify human rights violations,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.
Olalia, for his part, described Palparan’s defense as self-destructing and “peppered with huge leaps at reckless conclusions, biased opinions & puny conspiracy theories not supported by fact, evidence, reason or common sense.”
“He sees red everywhere and recklessly, maliciously and baselessly blames his present woes to what he stubbornly refers to as “enemies of the State,” including human rights lawyers, human rights organizations, farmers’ groups, and the Left. His incessant red scare perceptions as a political dinosaur should have been fossilized,” he added.
In an e-mail sent to RPRD News, Olalia said the red-tagging against human rights groups and lawyers were struck from the court records, per the request of the prosecution lawyers, “for being immaterial, irrelevant and is a conclusion not supported by facts not to mention it is malicious, vicious and reckless.”
Olalia said the court, without hesitation, immediately ordered it deleted.
As the Bulacan court is expected to come up with promulgation in a few months, the disappeared students, along with farmer Manuel Merino, remain missing to this day. They were disappeared in Hagonoy, Bulacan back on June 26, 2006, at the height of the bloody counterinsurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya, under former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. (RPRD News)