Manalo brothers to file reply to OSG comment on Palparan acquittal

Rights group Hustisya trooped to the Court of Appeals to support the Manalo brothers in filing their reply to the comment of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), arguing that the nonconformity of the OSG should not bar the CA from giving due course to the petition.

The Malolos RTC rendered a Joint Decision dated October 6, 2023, clearing Gen. Jovito Palparan and the
Dela Cruz brothers of the charges despite compelling evidence presented by the prosecution. In spite of the prosecution’s efforts, the Malolos RTC denied their Motion for Reconsideration in an Order dated November 7, 2023.

In response to this troubling verdict, brothers Manalo filed a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 before the Court of Appeals on January 8, 2024. They alleged that the Malolos RTC committed grave abuse of discretion in rendering its decision, and sought a just and fair resolution to their case.

On February 21, 2024, the Court of Appeals took action, ordering the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to comment on the petition and to indicate whether it gives its conformity to the plea for justice. However, on April 22, 2024, brothers Manalo, through their legal representatives, received the comment of the OSG, which shockingly expressed non-conformity with the petition and prayed for its dismissal due to alleged lack of merit.

Hustisya condemns this dereliction of duty exhibited by the OSG. Not only does it seek to grant impunity for a human rights violator, but it starkly contrasts with its relentless pursuit of baseless charges against activists like Reina Mae Nasino, Lady Ann Salem, and Winona Birondo, even after the search warrants and alleged evidence against them had been quashed and suppressed. The OSG has also appealed the exoneration of Karapatan national officers and other rights defenders from GABRIELA and the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines in the trumped-up case for perjury filed by former National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon.

Impunity for Palparan and cohorts will undermine the rule of law and erode public trust in the judicial system. Hustisya stands in solidarity with the Manalo brothers and reiterates its commitment to pursue justice tirelessly. ###