A Philippine court on Monday sentenced a retired army general and two of his aides to life in prison for the kidnapping of two college activists 12 years ago.
Ex-Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, known as “the butcher” by the political left for his role in a deadly crackdown against communist insurgents, was found guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention in connection with the disappearance of students Karen Empeño and Shirley Cadapan in 2006.
The women were activists at the state-run University of the Philippines. The women have not been seen since their disappearance.
Judge Alexander Tamayo handed down the judgment against Palparan, Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado Jr. and Staff Sgt. Edgardo Osorio. The court also issued an arrest warrant for a third accomplice identified as a sergeant.
Philippine human rights group Karapatan welcomed the Palparan’s verdict. He is a close ally of former president and current Speaker of the House Gloria Arroyo, his political patron who considers the ex-general one of her favorites.
“This is a step forward for justice. He is a psychopath who enjoys inflicting pain on others, and should therefore be in jail, far away from any position that can give him any power to victimize more people,” said Roneo Clamor, the deputy head of Karapatan.
“We want to see him rot in jail, not in the company of fellow butchers who share the same contempt for human rights,” he added.
Palparan was arrested in Manila in 2014 after three years on the run.