Cordillera activists ask SC to reverse CA ruling denying them amparo | Inquirer News

Cordillera activists ask SC to reverse CA ruling denying them amparo

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 09:53 PM June 19, 2023

Supreme Court facade with SC logo superimposed on photo. STORY: Cordillera activists ask SC to reverse CA ruling denying them amparo

MANILA, Philippines — Cordillera-based activists on Monday filed a petition urging the Supreme Court (SC) to reverse the  Court of Appeals’ dismissal of their plea for a writ of amparo against government officials who had been red-tagging them.

The petition asked the high court to disqualify the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) from representing state forces in the case.


The Cordillera People’s Alliance filed the writ of amparo petition in October 2022. The Court of Appeals turned it down in October 2022, saying it found no substantial evidence establishing the petitioners’ allegations of state-sponsored harassment and dangerous threats to their lives.


In its 111-page petition to the Supreme Court, however, the Cordillera-based activists — including members of CPA and affiliated grassroots organizations — questioned the CA’s claim that there was no substantial evidence. They said the court failed to “fully appreciate” their evidence.

“Had the Court of Appeals looked closer at the evidence, it would have appreciated the intrinsically inflammatory and hateful content of the numerous posts, made more potent through the use of offensive photographs bearing the petitioner’s faces interspersed with the symbolisms of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the bold-letter of the acronym CPP-NPA-NDF,” the petition read.

“In some instances, long statements were contained by these posts, outrightly declaring the CPA as a communist front and the petitioners concerned as terrorists, murderers or NPA recruiters and everything in between,” it added.

The petitioners also accused the CA of committing a “reversible error” by not complying with Section 6 and Sec. 9 of “The Rule on the Writ of Amparo.”

The activists questioned why the CA required respondents — state forces — to submit a comment on their plea as doing so was not supported by any provision in “The Rule on the Writ of Amparo.”

The petitioners also pointed out that the respondents did not even file a verified written return with supporting affidavits, while the CA did not conduct any summary hearing of the petition.


“In the absence of a verified written return and without conducting a summary hearing, the court, without basis, proceeded to issue its Oct. 24, 2022 Decision. This is [a] reversible error,” the petition read.

Furthermore, the activists questioned why the OSG represented state forces or elements “thereof impleaded in this case in light of the existence of documentary and testimonial evidence proving commission of acts potentially violative of the petitioners’ constitutional rights.”

“Wherefore, it is most respectfully prayed that the Honorable Supreme Court issue an order disqualifying the Office of the Solicitor General from representing the respondents,” the petition read.

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“It is further prayed that the Honorable Supreme Court reverse the October 24, 2022 Decision and April 11, 2023 Resolution of the Court of Appeals and issue a new one granting the reliefs prayed for in the Amended Petition in CA-G.R. No. SP No. 00069,” it added.

The new petition gained the support of several environmental groups, including the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment — a national alliance composed of 22 grassroots and sectoral organizations — and the Environmental Defenders Congress and the Center for Environmental Concerns.


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TAGS: Cordillera activists, Cordillera People’s Alliance, Court of Appeals, red-tagging, Supreme Court, writ of amparao

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