THE Supreme Court (SC) has granted a writ for amparo and habeas data in favor of human rights groups for their protection against alleged attacks and red-tagging by the government.
In a seven-page resolution, the SC directed the Court of Appeals to hear the petition of Karapatan Alliance Philippines, Inc., Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, Inc. and General Assembly of Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership and Action (Gabriela), Inc. on June 18, as well as issue writs of amparo and habeas data and resolve the petition’s merits within 10 days after it was submitted for resolution.
The SC also required the respondents to file their comment on or before June 13, 2019.
The respondents of the case include President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Ret. Gen. Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr., and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief-of-Staff Gen. Benjamin R. Madrigal, Jr., and other government officials.
The groups filed their petition for writ of amparo and habeas data on May 6 following their allegations of threats, harassment, and “red-tagging” by government forces.
The writ of amparo is a remedy available to anyone whose right to life, liberty, and security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission by a public official or employee.
Human rights groups also sought the issuance of habeas data which would order the government to destroy all information gathered against them.
In their petition, they claimed that red-tagging and terrorist labelling” of their organizations have worsened and become “more systematic” with the issuance of Executive Order No. 70 in December 2018 which formed the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF). — Vann Marlo M. Villegas