Karapatan to Palparan, et.al: Stay away from the witnesses

Karapatan urged Ret.Maj.Gen. Jovito Palparan, et.al to stay away from
the witnesses to the criminal case filed in relation to the abduction
of UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño.
Counsels for the complainants manifested during the DOJ’s
clarificatory hearing last September 23 that Wilfredo Ramos was coaxed
thrice by elements of the military stationed in their barangay to
recant his earlier statements and to stand as witness for the
respondents in exchange of certain “benefits.”  Had he agreed, Ramos
would be presented as a witness for Palparan, et.al.  Ramos witnessed
the abduction of the two UP students in 2006.


“We condemn the desperate move of the military to intimidate our
witnesses. We believe that the witnesses’ testimonies are strong to
find probable cause. Palparan and his cohorts will go to trial,” said
Jigs Clamor, Acting Secretary General of Karapatan. Palparan and other
respondents denied any knowledge of the said incident.
During the hearing, two witnesses, Raymond Manalo and Oscar Leuterio,
also positively identified Palparan among the crowd. Meanwhile,
Raymond Manalo, an eyewitness who was also abducted in February 2006
reiterated that he met Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan at Camp
Tecson.


“We will hold the military responsible if anything happens to the
witnesses,” said Clamor.


At the end of the hearing, the people inside the court chanted
“Palparan Guilty!” Linda Cadapan, mother of Sherlyn, yelled
“Sinungaling! Ibalik mo ang anak ko!” to Palparan.


All the respondents, complainants and witnesses to the criminal case
filed against Palparan were present. Counsel for the respondents did
not submit any question stating that they are confident with the
testimonies and affidavits they submitted. Meanwhile, counsel for the
complainants submitted six questions to the DOJ investigating.


Some of the questions the DOJ panel asked were the ranks, duties and
geographical assignments of the respondents. Palparan admitted before
the Panel that, among others, he visited camps and detachments, gave
direct orders to the respondents without passing through the battalion
commanders in “critical” situation. He also confirmed that the 7th ID
maintained safe houses in Nueva Ecija where Raymond Manalo, one of the
witnesses, stayed during his incarceration.


The Parties are required to submit their respective memorandum within
15 days after the receipt of the transcript of stenographic notes.
After which, the case is submitted for resolution. ###