On the cases against Palparan’s men: Will justice ever be served?
If justice delayed is justice denied, then the long-drawn-out cases against soldiers and paramilitary forces under the command of Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. for the kidnapping, arbitrary detention and torture of Raymond Manalo and Oscar Leuterio are apt, but sorry, examples. The cases, filed as early as 2008, have been gathering dust in the Office of the Ombudsman, which has shown nary a hint of interest or resolve to investigate criminal and ethical violations by the military, from the top brass down the line.
We shouldn’t be afraid of sending more high-profile officials or persons to jail if they broke the law. How else can we know if our system works?
With such a lukewarm reception by the executive, no wonder farmers and rural folk like Manalo and Leuterio fear that the military will continue rampaging through the countryside with impunity, brusquely waging its bitter counterinsurgency war.
And then in the first place, when the state victimizes its own people, is that not the height of injustice? Similar harrowing stories of Manalo and Leuterio during the dark days of General Palparan’s “martial service” are still happening today. As they get uglier and messier, we wonder if justice will ever be served.
National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers,
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