CA orders De Lima to explain transfer of Bilibid inmate to NBI
MANILA, Philippines–The Court of Appeals Sixth Division has ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to explain the transfer of convict Noel Martinez from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
In its ruling, the appeals court gave the DOJ, NBI and NBP five days to submit its reply. The appeals court also set the case for hearing on January 14.
Martinez, through his sister Marilou Golloso Martinez Raguro, asked the appeals court to issue a protection order against Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, the Bureau of Corrections, and the NBI.
Martinez and 19 other inmates have been temporarily detained at the NBI until a building for high-profile inmates has been fully renovated.
Martinez’s counsel, Ferdinand Topacio, in their petition for writ of amparo said the transfer of Martinez is illegal because an inmate can only be released or transferred “upon order of the court or when he is admitted to bail.”
“No discretion is therefore left by law with the Secretary of Justice much less with the agencies under her to transfer Noel to the NBI facilities,” the petition stated.
Topacio added that Martinez‘s right to security has been violated for being detained incommunicado and deprived of right to counsel.
The petition for a writ of amparo is a remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity.
The appeals court order is signed by Associate Justices Mario Lopez, Myra Garcia-Fernandez and Noel Tijam.
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