Supreme Court to revise rules for protective writs in 2024
The Supreme Court is set to revise its protective writs by next year.
This was bared by Davao de Oro Rep. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga, who sponsored the judiciary’s 2024 budget during the plenary deliberations on Thursday.
He said the revisions on the guidelines for the writ of amparo, habeas corpus and data would be released by early 2024.
Gonzaga’s remarks were in response to the query of House Deputy Minority Leader France Castro during her interpellation of the judiciary’s budget.
Castro asked about the ongoing status of the modification for the writ of amparo, a remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty and security has been violated or threatened.
She lamented that many activists have died without having the protection of the writ of amparo due to its pending status in the judiciary.
Gonzaga said applicants have other options besides the Supreme Court, namely the Court of Appeals and the lower courts.
But there are some instances where a protective writ cannot be granted, he said.
“I think the Supreme Court or the judiciary is very fair enough on this issue at hand,” Gonzaga added.
The rules on the writs of amparo and habeas data were promulgated in 2007 during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to respond to the high number of extrajudicial killings and disappearances.
“All the writs that need to be reviewed are now the subject of the committee under Senior Associate Justice Marvic Leonen. The timeline is early next year,” said Gonzaga.
“Under Chief Justice (Alexander) Gesmundo, they are about to release the draft of the modification as to the writ of amparos,” he said.
Castro also urged the Supreme Court to act against Red-tagging.
“Maybe the judiciary could make an initiative to define Red-tagging. A lot of people have been affected, a lot have died because of this,” said Castro.However, Gonzaga said that this would be up to Congress.
He said victims of Red-tagging could use the protection of the writ of amparo.
According to him, cases under Red-tagging are aligned to remedies under the writ of amparo, citing the clause “whose right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened.”
He explained further: “No matter how the Supreme Court defines Red-tagging, still the judiciary, the Supreme Court cannot penalize because it cannot make judicial legislation.”
He said the legislation should first make a law criminalizing acts of Red-tagging before it could be penalized.
“We are the ones who should be making the legislation, making Red-tagging as a crime, not the judiciary. It’s not the Supreme Court who will make the law for that,” he added.