Human rights lawyer complains harassment vs military
MANILA, Philippines—A human rights lawyer filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for writs of habeas data and amparo upon receiving information that the military has put her under surveillance and labelled her as a “red lawyer” for representing political prisoners suspected to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA).
Lawyer Maria Catherine Dannug-Salucon of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyer (NUPL) based in Isabela filed the petition telling the court that there are several instances of military men casing and asking about her and her activities.
She said there was an instance when a motorcycle cut off her car while pulling out of the garage.
Salucon’s counsel Ephraim Cortez added that Salucon’s paralegal was also shot last March 25.
A writ of amparo is a remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty, and security has been violated or is threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity. The writ covers extralegal killings and enforced disappearances or threats.
A habeas data on the other hand, protects a person’s right to control information especially when the information against the person was illegally obtained. The court may give the requesting person, in this case, Atty. Salucon access to any and all information collected by the military against her and order the destruction or deletion of the gathered information if proven that the obtained data are erroneous.
The appeals court set the hearing on May 21. —with reports from Coleen Barnachea
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