MANILA- (UPDATE) A Bulacan court has denied retired Army Gen. Jovito Palparan's plea to reconsider his conviction for kidnapping and illegal detention over the disappearance of 2 University of the Philippines students in 2006.
The Malolos City Regional Trial Court Branch 15 in an order dated Oct. 19 but made public only Thursday, rejected Palparan’s arguments saying these were a rehash of his position that has been resolved extensively by the court.
“Wherefore, finding no additional and/or new points raised to outweigh the settled position of the court, the Motion for Reconsideration, as well as the Supplemental Motion, is denied for lack of merit,” Judge Alexander Tamayo said in the decision.
Palparan, along with 2 other Army men, were convicted in September this year over the disappearance of UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño.
They were sentenced to reclusion perpetua or up to 40 years in prison and were ordered to pay P100,000 in civil indemnity and P200,000 for moral damages.
The decision stated that Palparan relied only on “alleged inconsistencies” of the testimonies of prosecution witnesses and their “purported questionable actuations” in an attempt to destroy their credibility.
The court also stood by its earlier ruling imposing a 40-year imprisonment sentence of reclusion perpetua.
Palparan was convicted on the strength of eyewitness accounts of farmer Raymond Manalo who saw military men torture Cadapan and Empeño inside a military cell and Wilfredo Ramos, Jr., who was 14 years old, when he saw the two UP students abducted by armed men.
At the time, Cadapan, a triathlete, was a senior Sports Science student while Empeño was taking up Sociology.
Following the conviction, Palparan was jailed at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.