THE Court of Appeals has sustained the validity of the arrest warrant issued by the Malolos, Bulacan Regional Trial Court against former Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan for kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges filed against him, in connection with the 2006 abduction and disappearance of two University of the Philippines students.
In a 15-page decision, the CA’s Fourth Division, through Associate Justice Carmelita Salandanan Manahan, denied the petition filed by Palparan seeking the recall of the arrest warrant, as well as the dismissal of the charges filed against him.
The CA rejected the assertion of Palparan the Malolos RTC disregarded his constitutional right to due process when it denied his motion to quash information and warrant of arrest on the same day it was filed on Aug. 18, 2014.
The lower court, in denying Palparan’s motion, held the motion was just a repetition of his earlier motion, which was already denied by it in its order dated April 3, 2012.
The RTC stressed the grounds and issues mentioned in the said motion to quash information and warrant of arrest were already passed upon in its April 3, 2012 resolution.
In ruling against Palparan, the appellate court said an order denying a motion to quash was merely “interlocutory” and, thus, not appealable nor could be the subject of a petition for certiorari.
“Stated differently, the remedy against the denial of a motion to quash is for the movant accused to enter a plea, go to trial, and should the decision be adverse, reiterate on appeal from the final judgment and assign as error the denial of the motion to quash,” the CA pointed out.
“The denial, being an interlocutory order, is not appealable, and may not be the subject of a petition for certiorari because the availability of other remedies in the ordinary course of law,” it said.
In order for the petition for certiorari questioning an interlocutory order to prosper, the CA said the appellant should be able to establish the lower court issued the judgment or order without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion.
“Petitioner did not show that the trial court had no jurisdiction or exceeded its jurisdiction in denying the motion to quash, or gravely abused its discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in its denial,” the CA noted.
Besides, the appellate court stressed that the allegations raised by Palparan in his petition for certiorari are factual and evidentiary in nature, which should be ventilated in a full-blown trial.
A composite team of the National Bureau of Investigation and the Armed Forces’ Naval Intelligence Group arrested Palparan in August 2014 after three years in hiding.
He was arrested by virtue of an arrest warrant issued by the Malolos RTC in 2011 in connection with the kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges filed by the relatives of missing UP students Karen Empeno and Shrelyn Cadapan.
In indicting Palparan for kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges, the Department of Justice held he had a direct hand in the detention of Sherlyn and Karen based on the testimony of Raymond Manalo, a farmer.
Manalo was abducted and tortured by the military from February 14, 2006 and escaped on August 12, 2007.
During his detention, Manalo claimed he witnessed the two students being tortured by their captors, believed to be Palparan’s men.
The CA had ruled in 2007 his testimony was “clear, consistent and convincing” as it ordered the Armed Forces to produce the bodies of the students.