Claudine, Raymart to appeal junked amparo petition vs Tulfo brothersBy Jeannette I. Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The lawyer of Claudine Barretto and Raymart Santiago Tuesday said that his clients were prepared to go all the way to the Supreme Court to fight for their right to be given protection against the Tulfo brothers.
According to Alexis Avisado, the issuance of a writ of amparo was the only legal remedy available to the show biz couple whose lives were being threatened by Raffy and his brothers Ben and Erwin.
In a resolution earlier this month, Judge Filomena Singh of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 219 dismissed the couple’s claim that the writ of amparo rule “covers any situation where an individual’s right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened with violation.”
In particular, Singh said in her decision dated Aug. 6 that “only extralegal killings and enforced disappearances are proper subjects of a petition under the Rule” as she added that the high court’s rulings on the matter had discussed the purpose and reason for the legal remedy.
The judge subsequently dissolved a temporary protection order (TPO) granted on May 24 by Judge Bayani Vargas who was in charge of the case until his retirement.
A writ of amparo is a judicial remedy available for people whose life, liberty and security are threatened or violated. It can be used to seek a protection order, among others, from the courts.
The Tulfos had asked the court to dismiss the couple’s petition. In particular, Ben had said that the statements he made on his TV show were “a mere invitation to a fair fight that … may be easily accepted, declined or ignored.”
“The perceived threats from the remarks and statements are considered to be more imagined than real,” he added.
In response, Avisado told the Inquirer that they would “file a motion for reconsideration because we strongly feel that it was highly irregular for the court to grant a motion to dismiss which is a prohibited pleading under the rules on the writ of amparo. We will also question the court’s ruling that a writ of amparo can only be availed [of in cases] of human rights abuses and enforced disappearances.”
He added: “The writ of amparo is a legal remedy available to those who seek freedom from fear that is why there is a need to make the temporary protection order permanent. The protection order stays in favor of the couple until our motion for reconsideration shall have been resolved.”
He said that should their motion for reconsideration be denied, they plan to elevate the case to the Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court.
“Considering that there is not much jurisprudence on this matter, we expect this case to reach the Supreme Court for enrichment of jurisprudence and education of our people on the intricacies of the writ of amparo,” Avisado said.