We condemn the acquittal by the Antipolo Regional Trial Court Branch 97, specifically by Judge Marie Claire Mabutas-Sordan, of ex-Colonel Eduardo “Red” Kapunan from the double murder case which resulted from the abduction, torture and killing of former Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson Rolando Olalia and his aide and labor activist Leonor Alay-ay in November 1986.
We feel as if our comrades have been murdered again. This decision is the latest addition to the long list of injustices committed against our comrades, their families and friends, and the Filipino workers and people. It further exposes the anti-worker and anti-poor nature of the country’s so-called justice system, which takes too long to process cases where the complainants are poor and the suspects are rich and which almost always decides in favor of the latter.
It is revolting that Kapunan was set free while the soldiers whom he ordered to commit the crime – Desiderio Perez, Dennis Jabatan and Fernando Cassanova – will remain behind bars. This further exposes the impunity granted to top military officials by the Philippine government. We have every reason to believe that Kapunan was acquitted to prevent him from implicating the masterminds of the case, who are known to the public – Juan Ponce Enrile and Gringo Honasan.
We have every reason to believe that Pres. Noynoy Aquino only used the case to persecute his political opponents Enrile and Honasan, and not really seek justice for Ka Lando and Ka Leonor. We recall that the case against Kapunan was revived after a fake KMU press release was circulated in the media in January 2012 calling for the reopening of the case on the basis that “the wind of justice is finally blowing in the country.” Aquino only used the case to make it appear that he was indeed taking the pursuing Daang Matuwid under his regime.
We are calling on President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, who promises to rid the military of bad elements and to uphold the law, to help us seek justice on the Olalia-Alay-ay double murder case. The Olalia-Alay-ay murder case is a landmark case of injustice that serves as a yardstick in measuring presidents’ commitment to justice, or lack thereof as has been the case so far.