No less than GMA and Yano must ensure AFP's compliance to the CA order to release Sherlyn Cadapan, Karen Empeño & Manuel Merino

CA order to release Karen, Sherlyn and ManuelThe Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should make haste to comply with the Court of Appeals (CA) order.  They MUST immediately release UP students Sherlyn Cadapan, Karen Empeño and farmer Manuel Merino, who were abducted and kept missing more than two years ago.

When the CA accepted the testimony of witness Raymond Manalo, it has affirmed all our allegations that indeed IT IS the military that have caused the enforced disappearance of the three and that the camps are being used as safe houses and torture places. And while the CA said its decision is not an indictment of the whole AFP, we are convinced that the AFP continues to coddle terrorists and have concealed such criminal goings-on in its camps.  There is no better time to reiterate the call on the military and police to surface all victims of involuntary disappearance, as now!

The CA said that "the testimony of Raymond Manalo can no longer be ignored and brushed aside" and that "his narration and those of the earlier witnesses, taken together, constitute more than substantial evidence warranting an order that the three be released..."

No less than Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as AFP Commander-In-Chief and Chief of Staff Gen. Alexander Yano must ensure that the AFP does as the CA ordered.  They must also surrender the thugs under their wings.

That the CA made a reversal in their earlier decision to dismiss the writ of habeas corpus petition is a right direction, we call on the justices to make similar corrections in the other dismissed amparo petitions.  The only lamentable thing is that it took too long for that decision to come and in the meantime, Sherlyn, Karen and Manuel endure cruelty and inhumane treatment at the hands of the military.

Justice must now be delivered to the families of Sherlyn, Karen and Manuel by ordering the arrest of Gen. Romeo Tolentino, Gen. Jovito Palparan, Jr., Col. Rogelio Boac, Arnel Enriquez, Lt. Francis Mirabelle Samson, Donald Caigas, Msgt. Rizal Hilario, Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado, among others.

Before it is too late, the CA can also reverse its decisions on writ of amparo petitions it earlier dismissed in order to surface the desaparecidos, save lives and combat impunity.  The case of Sherlyn, Karen and Manuel cannot be taken separately from the case of desaparecidos Jonas Burgos, Leo Velasco, Flaviano Arante and Reynold Yanoc, and survivors Lourdes Rubrico, Elizabeth Principe and Francisco Saez.   They have the same stories of abduction, detention and torture and they all point to one culprit.  

To all those who kept vigil with the families and the human rights groups, we thank you and congratulate you for this victory.  The battle is not yet over though, for Sherlyn, Karen and Manuel are yet to be united with their families and the terrorists in uniform are still scot-free.    So we call on you our fellow citizens to please keep watch and be ready to act should the military defy the court's bidding.#