July 17, 2019
The Court of Appeals (CA) has denied the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers’ request for a temporary protection order (TPO) that would have prohibited military officials from threatening and harassing its members.
In a July 11 resolution, the Special 15th Division denied the NUPL’s application for the issuance of a TPO on three grounds, even as the union’s petition for the issuance of a writ of amparo remains pending before the appeals court.
The NUPL had sought a TPO that would prohibit the respondent military officials from threatening to violate or violating its members’ right to life, liberty and security.
It alleged its member-lawyers have been wrongfully accused of links to communist rebels, experienced heavy surveillance, harassment, threats, and that some have been killed and falsely charged of crimes.
However, the CA said the Supreme Court has already issued a writ of amparo in favor of the NUPL. “There is no need to issue a TPO independently of the former,” the CA ruled.
The court said the writ of amparo may serve to “prevent a threat from becoming an actual violation against the aggrieved party.”
“The remedy of the writ of amparo includes in its coverage even threatened violations of the aggrieved party’s right to life, liberty, or security,” the CA said.
“Even threat and intimidation that vitiate the free will, albeit not involving any invasion of bodily integrity, may constitute a violation of the right to security in the sense of ‘freedom from threat,'” it added.
The CA also found that the NUPL failed to submit a list of individual NUPL members that would have benefited from the protection order and to identify a person or institution capable of providing the protection they sought.
17 July 2019
Solicited reaction upon media request on the denial of NUPL’s prayer for Temporary Protection Order (TPO) by the Philippine Court of Appeals (CA);
With due respect, we regret that the CA did not at this point see the necessity and applicability of giving us the Temporary Protection Order which is an ancillary remedy to the privilege of the writ of amparo.
To our understanding, what the Supreme Court (SC) earlier granted was only the writ and not yet the privilege of the writ.
While significant, the writ only mandated the respondents to answer (“make a return”) the Petition. That is precisely why the SC ordered the CA to conduct hearings to determine whether or not the privilege will be granted.
In the meantime, ancillary remedies like the TPO can be granted “at anytime before final
judgment” as are warranted, which TPO becomes part of the privilege of the writ as a final legal remedy.
Also, our reading of the Rules say that it is not incumbent at this point on us the petitioners seeking protection to name the specific entity to provide the protection. Nor is it necessary – much less wise or prudent – to provide a full list of our members at this point. That can come as a matter of course.
More importantly, the orchestrated labelling, “red-tagging”and villification we continue to endure must be seen in the context of a proven pattern that they can and have led to the extreme – extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.
Hence, we feel at a loss given that we do not have any effective and immediate domestic remedy to legally protect us from the continuing attacks on our lives, liberty and security and against the relentless vexatious smear campaign by State forces.
Lamentably, these attacks are matched by parallel vile language and arrogant innuendos from their swaggering defenders who mock us with utter contempt. #
Edre U. Olalia