Group urges military told to stop coddling suspected murderers

HUMAN rights group Karapatan decried the continuing custody of former Air Force colonel and Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) leader Red Kapunan by the military.

Kapunan is one of the primary suspects in the murder of the then chair of Kilusang Mayo Uno, Atty. Rolando Olalia, and his driver, Leonor Alay-ay, in November 1986.  The murders of Olalia and student activist Lean Alejandro were premised as an attempt to derail the Corazon Aquino administration.

“We are not surprised at all at this collusion between the military and its former ward.  The suspected perpetrators of the Cadapan-Empeno kidnapping, Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado and S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio, were also placed under military custody instead of putting them in a civilian jail, much to our vehement objections. But we are more appalled by the inaction of the Commander–in-Chief Noynoy Aquino against this highly irregular practice,”  Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General said.

Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno were University of the Philippines students, who were conducting research among the farmers in Hagonoy, Bulacan, when government soldiers under General Jovito Palparan allegedly abducted them.

“We hope Palparan will not repeat Kapunan’s act, where the latter managed to evade persecution for nearly 30 years. We suspect though that the increase to 2 million of the bounty for Palparan’s capture is just a ploy to cover up for the government’s inaction.”  Palabay added.

Kapunan surrendered to the Armed Forces after another suspect to the Olalia murder surrender in July.  “But the military has kept Kapunan under its wings, instead of being turned over to civilian authorities,” said Palabay.  Kapunan is now detained at the Philippine Army Civil Military Unit (CMU).


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