CA orders Arroyo, military to answer farmers’ kin’s petition

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Suzzane Salva-Alueta

First Posted 11:51:00 02/21/2008

CEBU CITY, Philippines – TWO divisions of the Court of Appeals (CA) have taken cognizance of the petition for and issuance of a Writ of Amparo filed by relatives of two farmers from Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental.

In separate orders, the CA-Cebu stations issued a writ and ordered President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to make a return of the writ five days upon receipt.

The petition filed by Rosalia Yanoc and Carmen Arante, thru counsel Noemi Truya, is the first case governing the rule on the Writ of Amparo in the Visayas.

Yanoc and Arante claimed that the military took their kin on suspicion that they were involved with communist rebels. They said, however, that the two men that the military took were “mere farmers.”

The writ approved by the Supreme Court in September 2007 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.”

The writ covers extralegal killings and enforced disappearances or threats.

With the orders to return the writ to the CA, the respondents including the President would file a written return together with supporting affidavits, which among others will contain their lawful defense to show that they did not violate or threaten with violation to right to life, liberty and security of the aggrieved party.

Both petitions will be heard on Feb. 28.

Yanoc claimed that her son, Reynold, 18, was taken by the 61st Infantry Battalion (IB) on Dec. 7, 2007. Contrary to the assurance, the military did not bring back her son.

She last saw her son on Jan. 25, when soldiers escorted him to barangay Talalac in Sta. Catalina town, Negros Oriental.

Arante, for her part, said seven soldiers took her husband Flaviano, 53, forcibly for no apparent reason. The soldiers, she said, wanted to “borrow” her husband for two days, after which he would be returned.

Arante said their daughter, Annie, was able to visit Flaviano on Jan. 27, during which her husband was able to whisper to his daughter that he was mauled. /Chief of Reporters Suzzane Salva-Alueta


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