by Sandy Araneta
MANILA, Philippines – The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malolos City has issued arrest warrants against Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. and three other military officers in connection with the disappearance of University of the Philippines student activists Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño in 2006, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said yesterday.
Judge Teodora Gonzales of Malolos City RTC Branch 14 issued the warrants of arrest dated Dec. 19 against Palparan and military officers Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado Jr., S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio, and M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario.
No bail was recommended for the four accused.
The DOJ found probable cause to file two counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention against the suspects.
PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr. said PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome ordered the creation of a tracker team from the CIDG to find Palparan. He said police already have an idea where he might be.
In the warrant, Palparan’s last residence was listed as Dado St., Wild Cat Village, Barangay Ususan, 1630 Taguig City.
Hilario’s last residence, on the other hand, was listed as 7th Infantry Division, Fort Magsaysay, Palanan City, Nueva Ecija and/or Dado St., Wild Cat Village, Barangay Ususan, 1630 Taguig City.
The other day, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima confirmed reports that Palparan attempted to fly to Singapore but was stopped by a watchlist order.
“The watchlist order (WLO), though expired, is still in effect since we have not officially lifted it yet. There is still a need for us to issue a lift order before the effect of the WLO ceases,” De Lima said.
Palparan was offloaded but not detained because there was no arrest warrant against him at the time.
De Lima asked the Bulacan court to issue a hold departure order (HDO) against Palparan an hour after he was stopped from flying abroad. The general earned the moniker “the butcher” for the alleged numerous human rights violations he committed during the Arroyo administration.
He earlier said he has no plans of traveling abroad because he does not have the money for it.
“I read the other day that he’s not going to leave and that he would face this case. I guess we really can’t trust liars,” De Lima said. –
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