By: Marc Jayson Cayabyab
04:18 PM July 24th, 2015
Ombudsman indicts Palparan for Manalo kidnapping
The Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause to indict retired Major General Jovito Palparan for the kidnapping and serious illegal detention of the Manalo brothers.
But the antigraft body dismissed the criminal charges against former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. for lack of evidence.
In a resolution, the antigraft body said Palparan and eight others face indictment for two counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention punishable under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code.
Palparan, known as the “Butcher,” is accused of ordering the arrest of farmers Reynaldo Manalo and Raymond Manalo on Feb. 14 2006 in San Ildefonso, Bulacan for being suspected members of New People’s Army.
The Manalo brothers were detained and tortured until they escaped on Aug. 13, 2007.
Palparan’s eight co-accused were also found administratively liable for grave misconduct and were thus dismissed from service, removed of retirement benefits, and perpetually disqualified from public service — T/Msgt. Rizal Hilario, M/Sgt. Donald Caigas, and CAFGU Active Auxiliaries (CAAs) Michael Dela Cruz, Marcelo Dela Cruz, Jose Dela Cruz, Maximo Dela Cruz, Randy Mendoza, Roman Dela Cruz, and Rudy Mendoza.
The Ombudsman dismissed the administrative charges against former military chief Esperon, M/Gen. Juanito Gomez, and Palparan in view of their retirement before the case was filed. However, Palparan would still not be able to get clearance from the Ombudsman to get his benefits because of his pending case.
The 28-page Joint Resolution said that the Manalo brothers positively identified the perpetrators whose “concerted acts show that they agreed, expressly or impliedly, to commit the felony and forthwith decided to pursue it.”
Palparan is detained after two years of hiding from the arbitrary detention, torture and rape case before the Bulacan regional trial court, this time for the alleged kidnapping of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan, who remain missing.
The Ombudsman directed the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (MOLEO) to conduct fact-finding investigation on the other military personnel and victims cited in affidavit.
The criminal charges against Caigas and Gomez were dismissed after their death, while that against Esperon was dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.
The Manalo brothers are key to the case against Palparan over Empeño and Cadapan’s alleged enforced disappearance. Raymond Manalo has testified in court that he witnessed the torture and rape of the two UP students. He was allegedly detained by the military at the time Empeño and Cadapan were supposedly tortured and raped.