MANILA The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday vehemently denied that it is coddling retired Major Gen. Jovito Palparan.
"The AFP shares the aggrieved parties' call for justice. In deferring the transfer, the AFP is not protecting Major Gen. Palparan et al. It merely submits to the judicial processes already in place and running," AFP spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said in statement to the PNA Monday.
Arevalo said the AFP wants to know which commitment order takes precedence in Palparan's case and how the court will resolve the pending motion for continued detention at Camp Aguinaldo Detention Facility in Quezon City.
Once this is resolved, Arevalo said, the AFP will comply with the order of the relevant court.
"Note that Major Gen. Palparan et al. are facing two cases: one before Regional Trial Court Branch 15 of Judge Alexander Tamayo for Cadapan and EmpeAo case.
"The other case is with Regional Trial Court Branch 19 presided by Judge Francisco Felizmenio for Manalo Brothers case," he added.
In both cases, the courts ordered that the accused be committed to the Philippine Army Custodial Center (PACC) for custody.
"Major Gen. Palparan et al. were convicted for the Cadapan and EmpeAo case where the court ordered that the former be confined at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa. Meanwhile, the Manalo case is pending and the accused's continues commitment at the PACC stays by virtue of said Commitment Order," the AFP spokesperson said.
Following his conviction, Arevalo said the lawyers of Palparan and his fellow convicts have filed for motion for reconsideration last Sept. 18.
"Counsels also filed on Sept. 24 an urgent motion to defer the implementation of the order to transfer Major Gen. Palparan the resolution of which they are awaiting hence the continued detention at the PACC," he added.
He added that the military respects the law and pertinent judicial process and will not frustrate any pursuit for justice.
"The conviction and the new commitment order to NBP in the Cadapan and EmpeAo case now confuses with the hitherto existing commitment order to the PACC in the Manalo Brothers case," Arevalo said.
To resolve the conflicting issue on commitment orders, the PACC filed a manifestation with motion praying for court determination which commitment order prevails on Sept. 24.
It conducted its first hearing on the matter on Sept. 28, Arevalo said.
Last Sept. 17, the Malolos Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 15 found Palparan and two others guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention over the disappearance of UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen EmpeAo in 2006. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency