The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today called on the Aquino government to enforce a recent Supreme Court decision order for officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to immediately release two missing students, Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno, who were abducted in June 2006. The named respondents in the decision include retired general Jovito Palparan, Respondents Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado, Lt. Francis Mirabelle Samson, Lt. Col. Rogelio Boac, Arnel Enriquez and Donald Caigas.
“June 26 marks the fifth year since the abduction of the two UP activists. They have yet to attain justice as their parents and friends continue to search for them. The Aquino government must make a decisive move and immediately comply with the SC order. The Aquino regime should order the Department of National Defense and the AFP hierarchy to immediately execute the decision and release the 2 missing UP students,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
“The SC decision should also aid the Department of Justice in its preliminary investigation of the criminal complaint filed by the parents of Sherlyn and Karen against Palparan et al,” Reyes added.
The decision was also addressed to the current officials of the 7th Infantry Division and 24th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.
“The Supreme Court already upheld the testimony of abduction and torture survivor Raymond Manalo insofar as the involvement of officials of the AFP. The Aquino government shouldn’t dilly-dally on the issue since lives are at stake and five years have already passed,” Reyes said.
Aquino has not filed human rights cases after one year
Bayan also lamented that the Aquino government has not filed a single human rights case against any of the notorious human rights violators of the previous regime.
“Nearly a year in office and the Aquino government has not done much in terms of going after the human rights violators of the previous regime. It took victims, private citizens and church groups to file charges against the likes of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Gen.Palparan, the abductors of Jonas Burgos and the torturers of the Morong 43,” Reyes said.
“The Aquino government has not investigated and filed cases against the erring officials AFP involved in exrajudicial killings, abductions and torutre. Human rights violators remain untouchables under the Aquino regime. Whatever happened to Aquino’s inauguration promise of true and complete justice for all? Seems those were just empty rhetoric since the regime has nor pursued any human rights cases from the past government. Where is the effort to achieve true and complete justice?” he added.
Six members of the Morong 43 have filed a civil suit against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her officials before the Quezon City RTC. This was followed by the filing of a criminal complaint against Palparan and other officials by the parents of Cadapan and Empeno before the Department of Justice. Editha Burgos, mother of missing activist Jonas Burgos, filed before the DOJ a criminal complaint for the abduction of her son. The latest legal action against the past regime was a suit filed by the United Church of Christ of the Philippines against Arroyo for the deaths and abduction of UCCP members. ###