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SC orders Akap Bata Caritas to answer plea to free 16-year-old witness

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The Supreme Court building in Manila. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court ordered the National Bureau of Investigation and the Akap Bata Caritas to answer the petition filed by a Pangasinan-based publisher and his wife seeking custody of their 16-year-old son.

During Tuesday’s en banc (full court session), the high court referred the petition to the Court of Appeals to conduct the hearing.

At the same time, the high court gave the NBI and the Akap Bata Caritas 72 hours from receipt of the writ to make a verified return of the writ of amparo.

The minor is a witness in the death of Infanta Mayor Ruperto Martinez

The 16-year old’s testimony prompted the NBI to file murder case against incumbent Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino Jr. and Infanta, Pangasinan 1st District Congressman Jesus Celeste in connection with Martinez’ death.

Martinez was killed in front of his house last Dec. 15 in Barangay Cato in Infanta. The alleged killers Ricardo “Kardo” Legarda and Richard Manuel are currently detained in Pangasinan Provincial Jail in Lingayen.

The petitioner said with his son’s testimony, he has put his family in danger because candidates might think he is sabotaging their candidacy.

“And because the alleged testimonies of the minor son are false with more reason that the petitioners are fearing for their lives too,” the petition stated.

Petitioner believed that his son is being abused by the NBI.


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