Manila residents ask SC for writ of amparo vs police
Residents of San Andres Bukid in Manila filed on Wednesday before the Supreme Court (SC) a petition for writ of amparo against members of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Atty. Joel Ruiz Butuyan, of the Center for International Law Manila (Centerlaw), said the class suit was filed on behalf of the residents of the 28 barangays (villages) of San Andres Bukid specifically against Manila Police District (MPD) Station 6.
Under the law, 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 writ shall cover extralegal killings and enforced disappearances.
According to Butuyan, who represents members of the Religious of the Good Shepherd (RGS) and families and victims of the administration’s “war on drugs”, the Manila residents “are all at risk of suffering the same fate” as the victims of the government’s bloody anti-illegal drugs campaign.
Butuyan noted that since the war on drugs has been launched last year, 35 people have been killed in the community causing the residents to fear for their lives.
There were also several recorded instances of threats and harassments from the police, he added.
“Dahil rampant dito ‘yung pagpatay, rampant yung paghuli ng mga testigo, ‘yung mga nakakita ng pagpatay, rampant din ‘yung sa madaling araw pinapasok ‘yung bahay nila, rampant ‘yung armadong kalalakihan walang takot rumoronda sa mga komunidad at pumapasok lang sa mga bahay-bahay,” Butuyan said.
The lead petitioner in the class suit is Sr. Ma. Juanita R. Daño, a member of RGS and head of a mission, assisting families of tokhang victims in San Andres Bukid.
This is the second petition for a writ of amparo filed by Centerlaw in connection with the government’s drive versus illegal drugs.
The first petition for writ of amparo was filed on January 26, 2017 in behalf of the families of the “tokhang” victims, who worked as garbage collectors and scavengers in Payatas, Quezon City.
The tokhang victims were identified as Marcelo Daa Jr., Raffy Gabo, Anthony Comendo, and Jessie Cule; and the lone survivor, Efren Morillo, a fruit and vegetable vendor. /kga
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