CA junks rights groups’ bid for protection from ‘red-tagging’

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 29 2019 06:51 PM

MANILA—The Court of Appeals has dismissed the petition for writ of amparo and habeas data filed by rights group Karapatan, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines and Gabriela against what they claimed to be threats against their lives, liberty, and security from state forces.

This after the Supreme Court granted the group's petition in May.

In a decision promulgated Friday, June 28, the CA 14th Division said the petitioners failed to present substantial evidence, such as claims of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and proof that killings were due to membership in petitioners' organizations.

The court said Karapatan’s petition did not comply with rules on writs of amparo and habeas data because of the absence of judicial affidavits, failure to allege demand for prior investigations, and failure to show how their right to privacy was violated.

The CA had decided not to allow petitioners to present witnesses due to the absence of judicial affidavits.

Impleaded in the case were President Rodrigo Duterte and several high-ranking officials from Malacañang, the Department of National Defense, National Security Council, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police.

Karapatan, in a statement, denounced the dismissal of their petition.

“The dismissal of our petitions for the writ of amparo and habeas data is a gross disservice to all the human rights defenders of Karapatan who have been killed and to those who continue to remain in the line of fire," Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said. 

"In doing so, the appellate court has refused protection for defenders at risk. This is tantamount to complicity on the attacks perpetrated against us."
 
Palabay said the groups will continue to exhaust all legal processes to appeal and overturn the decision. — Report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News