A SOLON recently expressed disappointment over the acquittal of a retired Army official also known as “Berdugo,” in the abduction and torture case of Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo.
ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro was disgusted over the acquittal of the Army official, retired Army Major General Jovito Palparan, more known as the “Berdugo,” and said the decision casts doubt on the justice system’s commitment to hold human rights violators accountable.
“The acquittal of General Palparan is a grave injustice to the victims and their families. It sends a chilling message that those who commit heinous crimes against innocent civilians can evade punishment,” Rep. France Castro stated.
“The case of Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo is a glaring example of the rampant human rights violations in our country. Their harrowing experience of abduction and torture highlights the urgent need for justice and accountability. The acquittal of General Palparan only adds insult to the already deep wounds suffered by the victims and their loved ones,” she said.
The solon said the situation is worrisome for the fact that the acquittal occured in an environment of red tagging and terrorist labelling, the NTF-ELCAC as well as the ballooning confidential and intelligence funds.
Altogether, the teacher-solon said they embolden human rights violators to emulate Palparan to commit even more despicable acts like kidnapping, incommunicado detention, torture, and the like against innocents, just like what they did to the Manalos, Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan, Dyan Gumanao and Armand Dayoha, as well as Jhed Tamano and Jonila Castro, she added.
“Such an acquittal even with the facts found credible by the Supreme Court as the Manalo brothers recounted how they talked with Palparan and they were able to interact with Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan and Manuel Merino, but still the RTC acquitted him,” she added.
Rep. France Castro continues to stand in solidarity with human rights advocates, victims, and their families in demanding justice for all victims of human rights violations. This acquittal, she said, serves as a reminder that the fight against impunity and for the protection of human rights must be intensified.
“We call on the government to ensure that justice is served, and that perpetrators of human rights abuses are held accountable. We urge the immediate filing of an appeal to rectify this grave miscarriage of justice,” Rep. France Castro emphasized.
In the pursuit of justice, Rep. France Castro also calls on the Filipino people to remain vigilant and united in defending human rights and upholding the dignity of every individual.
“We will not be silenced in our quest for justice. We will continue to fight for the rights of all victims and ensure that those responsible for their suffering are held accountable,” she affirmed.
ACT Teachers Partylist remains committed to championing the causes of human rights, justice, and accountability in the halls of Congress and beyond.