Photos by Ace Ilagan and Marlon Nombrado

The UP community gathered yesterday to call for the surfacing of students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan as the day marked the seventh year of their disappearance.

Empeño and Cadapan, sociology and human kinetics students respectively, were reportedly abducted by military forces in June 26, 2006 while they were doing Empeño’s research on the plight of local farmers in Hagonoy, Bulacan.

Charges filed against alleged perpetrator, Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, Jr., include torture, rape, physical injuries, arbitrary detention, grave threats and coercion.

In a May 30, 2011 decision, the Supreme Court ordered the military, headed by Palparan, to immediately release the two students and farmer Manuel Merino from detention.

Yesterday, a candle-lighting ceremony was held in front of Palma Hall to commemorate their disappearance and to call for justice.

Concepcion Empeño, mother of Karen, and representatives from various student groups also shared their solidarity messages to the crowd.

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