Rights group says witness firm on Palparan’s role in abducting UP students

Apr. 14, 2015

Human rights group Karapatan said the witness of the abduction of two students from the University of the Philippines remains consistent despite the defendant’s attempt to discredit his statements.

Raymond Manalo testified on Monday in a hearing at the Malolos Regional Trial Court Branch 14 on the disappearance of Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan in 2006.

“Witness Raymond Manalo remained consistent and unshakable despite Palparan lawyers’ attempt to discredit him,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said after the hearing of the trial of People of the Philippines vs. Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito S. Palparan.”This is because Raymond speak of the truth,” Palabay said in a statement on Tuesday.

Manalo, among other witnesses, claimed that the Philippine Army under the command of then Maj. Gen. Palparan abducted, kept and tortured Cadapan and Empeno.

“Not being able to break the consistencies of Manalo’s accounts, Palparan’s lawyer invented inconsistencies in Manalo’s affidavits by picking one statement/sentence out of context and comparing another statement from a different affidavit,” Palabay said. Manalo was able to clarify issues, despite dirty attempts of Palparan’s lawyer, Atty. Diosab Formilleza, to muddle his testimony, Palabay said.

Palparan’s lawyer tried to confuse Raymond in identifying Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado, also one of the accused by pointing another accused, Staff Sgt. Edgardo Osorio. Manalo pointed to Anotado, saying he saw the latter thrice at the covert army camp in Limay, Bataan. Manalo said Anotado talked to him and his brother Reynaldo, to go back to the fold.

Atty. Formilleza asked Manalo for proof that he knew the victims Cadapan and Empeno during captivity. “Did you have any pictures together?” the defense asked.

Palabay said the defense was using “court antics” but failed to destroy Manalo’s credibility.

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