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Karapatan members express dismay over failure to present evidence vs military

/ 03:42 PM June 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Human rights group Karapatan expressed dismay over the Court of Appeals’ refusal to allow them to present their evidence against alleged military harassment.

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“I am deeply disappointed with what transpired in the hearing…we have not been granted space to present our testimonies and evidence over paltry procedural issues,” Cristina Palabay of Karapatan said Tuesday.

Karapatan is one of the petitioners in the writs of amparo and habeas data against the military, police and other government officials.

Named respondents are President Rodrigo Duterte, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana,

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr., Brig. Gen. Fernando Trinidad, Maj. Gen. Erwin Neri, Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., Lt. Gen. Macairog Sabiniano Alberto, National Intelligence Coordinating Council (NICA) Director General Alex Paul Monteagudo, NICA Deputy Director General Vicente Agdamag, Police Sr. Supt. Omega Jireh Fidel, and Undersecretaries Joel Egco, Severo Catura, and Lorraine Marie Badoy.

The groups asked for court protection against threats to the lives, liberty, and security of their members through a writ of amparo.

They asked the government to disclose and destroy all files or records gathered against their members through a writ of habeas data.

They also scored on the justices for their supposed unpreparedness when appearing during the hearing.

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But the petitioner’s camp said they were not able to get the government’s response to their allegations.

“San ka rin nakakita ng summary proceedings na hindi alam ng petitioners ang sagot ng mga berdugo sa reklamo nito,” Palabay said.

The petitions for writs of amparo and habeas data were initially filed with the Supreme Court. But the high court referred to case to the Court of Appeals for the reception of evidence and hearing.

The Supreme Court ordered the respondents to submit a response to the accusations of harassment, red tagging. The Office of the Solicitor General told the appeals court that they provided the human rights groups copy of their response sent via snail mail.

The government lawyers were able to present proof that their response was sent to the petitioners but failed to present proof that it was received. (Editor: Eden Estopace)

RELATED STORIES:
SC orders probe on ‘red tagging’ allegations vs gov’t

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TAGS: Court of Appeals, Karapatan, President Rodrigo Duterte, red-tagging, writ of amparo, Writ of Habeas Data
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