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SC to review rules, procedure on filing for writ of amparo

/ 11:46 AM September 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court on Thursday said it will review its procedures on the filing for a  writ of amparo—a legal remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty, and security has been violated or under threat.

Supreme Court Administrator Midas Marquez made the remark during the hearing of the House committee on appropriations on the budget proposal of the judiciary for 2021.

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It was Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate who brought up the topic, as he cited the case of human rights Zara Alvarez who was gunned down by unknown men in Bacolod City.

Zarate said Alvarez herself sought the said protective remedy, but her petition was dismissed.

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“We observed na nitong mga nakaraan ay mas lalong nahihirapan ang mga pumupunta sa Korte para mabigyan sila ng protective writ of amparo… Where is Miss Alvarez now? She was shot,” Zarate said.

“Malinaw yung affidavit na si-nubmit niya sa Korte na ‘yung buhay nya ay threatened at natatakot siya na mamamatay siya because she was tagged as a terrorist, she was tagged as communist, and all the others,” the lawmaker added.

Zarate then asked Marquez if the Supreme Court has thought of changing the rules and procedures for the filing of a writ of amparo.

Marquez said the rules on writ of amparo was released in 2007 and has been in effect for more than 10 years.

“Siguro ang pwede po nating gawin, we will review the procedure for the writ of amparo and we will see how we can strengthen the writ of amparo to, in effect, strengthen those who come before the courts, ‘yung mga dumudulog sa Korte at humihingi ng proteksyon,” Marquez said.

Marquez, however, pointed out that also important are the implementers of the decision.

“We also rely on other stakeholders to implement the decision of the court. Halimbawa mayroon tayong isang petitioner na dumulog sa Korte at nag-file ng petition for writ amparo at naglabas ng decision ang Korte granting the writ, ay umaasa din tayo sa ibang sangay at ahensya ng gobyerno upang tuparin ang kautusan ng ating Korte,” Marquez said.

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The Supreme Court official likewise pushed for the passage of the bill in Congress which seeks the establishment of judicial marshals.

The judicial marshals, Marquez said, would not only provide protection and security for justices and judges but would also ensure the implementation of court orders.

“Kapag mayroon tayong judicial marshals, ang ating reliance on other agencies, branches of government, will be reduced because we have our own judicial marshals to implement court orders,” Marquez said.

Zarate expressed hopes that the review will happen the soonest possible time, saying that he himself has previously filed a petition for writ of amparo. Both of those petitions, the lawmaker said, were also dismissed.

“Wag sana yung burden nasa petitioner. Nahihirapan ang mga petitioners to prove. So it defeats the purpose of the writ of amparo na protective writ ito. Wag na natin antayin na masundan pa ang kaso ni Zara Alvarez,” said Zarate.

/MUF
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TAGS: Judiciary, writ of amparo, Zara Alvarez
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