The Court of Appeals has turned down the plea of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers for protection against what they claim to be continuing harassment by the Armed Forces of the Philippines on their members.
In an eight-page resolution promulgated last July 11 but released only Tuesday, the CA’s Special 15th Division denied the prayer of NUPL for issuance of temporary protection order (TPO) in the group’s writs of amparo and habeas data petition.
Instead, the appellate court granted the bid of respondents led by President Rodrigo Duterte as commander-in-chief of AFP and Chief-of-Staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr., through Solicitor General Jose Calida, to dismiss the plea for lack of merit.
After hearing the petition, the CA ruled that petitioners led by NUPL chairman Neri Colmenares and president Edre Olalia failed to establish the necessity to protect them from supposed threats by the military.
“After a careful study of the allegations in the petition, the respective arguments of the parties, and the evidence so far presented, the Court finds no basis to grant the TPO,” stated the decision penned by Associate Justice Pedro Corales
The court cited the failure of petitioners to submit a list of their members that they wanted covered by the TPO and also pinpoint an accredited person or private institution that could provide the protection sought.
The appellate court also junked the plea of petitioners to enjoin military officials from issuing public statements against them and their activities as human rights lawyers, saying the rule on amparo “does not provide for the said relief.”