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Ronalyn V. Olea for Bulatlat reports on the latest developments over the trail of former general Jovito Palparan’s associate staff sergeant Osorio. Palparan is responsible for the kidnapping of UP students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan and farmer Manuel Merino:
Wilfredo Ramos, 20, related how some 20 armed men forcibly took Karen and Sherlyn, along with farmer Manuel Merino, from their house in San Miguel, Hagonoy, Bulacan on June 26, 2006. Ramos first testified on the same case during the preliminary investigation at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Ramos pointed to Staff Sgt. Edgardo Osorio as the one who hogtied him, his father, the two UP students and Merino at around 2 a.m. that fateful day.
“I almost cried out of anger,” Ramos told Bulatlat.com in an interview shortly after the hearing. “It pains me to see that Osorio and the others have not yet been punished for what they did.”
Osorio and Anotado wore their Army uniforms during the hearing. They were escorted by fully-armed soldiers in camouflage uniform.
Ramos, who was only 14 years old at the time of the incident, recalled that the armed men left him and his father by the roadside while Karen, Sherlyn and Merino were dragged inside a stainless jeepney. Days later, Ramos said he saw the same vehicle inside the camp of the 56th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA).
Oliva, the lead counsel on the case and a member of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), said the cross examination of Ramos “bolstered the testimony of his client regarding the identification of Osorio.”
Ramos said he is determined to seek justice. “They [military] could never buy my principles,” he said.
Palabay likened Palparan to Rolando Abadilla, a colonel who headed the Metrocom Intelligence and Security Group during the martial law years and Rodolfo Aguinaldo, a former military officer who was implicated in several torture cases.
“Palparan reminds us of the martial law years, where torturers roamed freely, were tolerated and were even permanent fixtures in the martial law landscape,” Palabay said.