By Jeffrey Damicog
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra expects retired Army Major General Jovito Palparan Jr. to be transferred this Thursday to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.
“Target for Palparan transfer: Thursday morning,” Guevarra informed reporters on Tuesday.
The secretary explained there are no more obstacles to transfer Palparan from his detention cell at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.
Guevarra disclosed that Malolos City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 15 has denied Palparan’s appeal to hold its commitment order which directed his transfer to the Bilibid.
The secretary explained the RTC cited Supreme Court-Office of the Court Administrator (SC-OCA) Circular No. 163-2013 which “directs all trial court judges to cause the immediate transfer of convicted persons to the NBP, regardless of the pendency of a motion for reconsideration or an appeal.”
“I have personally discussed the matter with AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) chief Galvez (Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr.), who has assured me that the AFP custodial center will immediately comply, without prejudice to the resolution of any further judicial review,” Guevarra said.
On Sept. 17, Judge Alexander Tamayo of Malolos City RTC Branch 15 issued a decision finding Palparan guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention as penalized under the Revised Penal Code.
The case stemmed from the 2006 disappearance of UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan.
Also found guilty with Palparan are Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado Jr. and S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio.
The court sentenced the three men to reclusion perpetua and were each ordered to pay P100,000 as civil indemnity and P200,000 to each of the families of Empeno and Cadapan.
One of their co-accused, M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario remains at large and, because of this, the court issued an alias warrant for his arrest and the case archived.