Joint Statement of Erlinda Cadapan and Concepcion Empeño
We welcome the issuance of warrants of arrest for Ret. Major General Jovito Palparan, Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado, Master Sergeant Rizal Hilario, and Staff Sergeant Edgardo Osorio for charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention of our daughters, Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno.
The Department of Justice resolution finding probable cause against them on these charges is a product of our arduous and persevering struggle for justice and to end impunity in the country. For us, it also signifies the start of a long and rigorous trial to hold Palparan and other human rights violators accountable.
Such impunity is wrought by the brazen commission of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other forms of human rights violations under the Macapagal-Arroyo regime. Such violations continue with impunity to this date under the Aquino administration, which has been remiss in pursuing justice for the victims and has sustained the same kind of counter-insurgency measure which terrorizes and wantonly violates human rights.
We emphasize that this significant victory is to the credit of the victims of human rights violations and their kin, the survivor-witnesses, human rights defenders, the people’s movement and the freedom-loving Filipino people – we who have kept and held the torch of justice flaming even during the darkest hours.
We call on our kababayans to help us continue this journey to achieve justice. We call on the public, with the warrants of arrest issued against Palparan et al, to join us in this peoples’ manhunt to ensure that he and his cohorts be immediately arrested, put to jail and prosecuted for the grave human rights violations they committed. We urge you to remain one with us in demanding that Karen, Sherlyn and all victims of enforced disappearances be surfaced.
We shall remain steadfast in our struggle for justice and realization of human rights in the country, as we make all human rights violators, including former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and top civil, military and police officials accountable for their high crimes against the people.###