Palparan: Stop Bulacan court from hearing kidnap case-A A +A
Friday, November 2, 2012
RETIRED military general Jovito Palparan recently asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to stop a Bulacan court from hearing the cases that tagged him as mastermind in the disappearance of two students in June 2006.
Palparan was joined in the 14-page petition by retired Master Sergeant Rizal Hilario of the 24th Infantry Battalion, who also remained at large.
Palparan and Hilario are facing charges of serious illegal detention and kidnapping before the sala of Bulacan Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 14 Judge Teodora Gonzales, who issued the arrest warrant and hold departure order against them in April after finding probable cause on the information forwarded by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
But Palparan’s petition stated that they should not be tried for these cases at all since the DOJ only investigated them for rape, serious physical injuries, arbitrary detention, grave threat and other charges filed by the mothers of the two University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño.
Because of this, they asked the CA to revoke the trial court orders and instruct the DOJ to conduct another preliminary investigation.
"They were not given an opportunity to submit countervailing evidence to squarely refute the charge of kidnapping and serious illegal detention in violation of their right to due process," the petition read.
A counsel for the victims' kin said the plea before the appellate court only shows that Palparan is "clutching at the remaining thin straws of legal maneuvers that he could futilely resort to."
"Probably, his world is getting smaller every day so he is desperately trying to preempt and delay the inevitable," said Edre Olalia of the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL).
"He (Palparan) again exhibits utter hypocrisy to claim due process, a basic right he is charged with having routinely denied those who remain missing and those who don't even have marked graves for their kin to visit," he said.
Palparan is one of the five high-profile fugitives being hunted down by the government, but despite the P2-million reward, no information has been established that could lead to his arrest. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)Jovito Palparan