CA issues protection order for activist

HR UPDATE: Amparo-Habeas Data Proceedings in Cebu
26 August, 2009

Cebu City—The Court of Appeals here issued today (26 August 2009) a temporary protection order in favor of a human rights defender against further harassment and surveillance by military and police agents.

The order was issued in open court by the 9th Division of the Court of Appeals during the preliminary conference on the Amparo-Habeas Data hearing this morning. It directed military and police personnel to stay a hundred meters away from Paz Silva until the termination of the proceedings.

Silva, advocacy officer of KARAPATAN-Central Visayas, filed earlier this month a Petition for the Writ of Amparo and Habeas Data before the Supreme Court which immediately acted favourably on it.

The court also required the presence of the respondents throughout the proceedings which was attended only by their lawyers through the office of the Solicitor General this morning.

Silva was elated over the issuance of the order and “offered this initial victory in honor of Fermin Lorico, Victor Olayvar and other victims of military execution.”

She also welcomed the sweeping denials by the Solicitor General on the existence of the Order of Battle and dossier earlier used by the 302nd Infantry Brigade in a “trumped-up case” against her person in Dumaguete City. The trumped-up case filed by the Sta.Catalina PNP chief and supported by 79th IB soldiers was dismissed by the prosecution for lack of merit in June this year.

“Tomorrow, I hope to finally meet face-to-face my tormentors who have besmirched my reputation and compromised my safety in their desperate effort at silencing government critics before Gloria’s reign end in 2010,” Silva said.

Among the respondents in the Amparo-Habeas Data hearing are President Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo, Central Command chief Isagani Cachuela, 302nd IBde commander Cesar Yano, 79th IB commander Erwin Neri and Sta.Catalina Police Chief.

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