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HUMAN RIGHTS LAW BY: MILEA KIM KARLA CABUHAT

ATTY. CYRUS SUALOG


2NDSEMESTER - SY 2016 -2017

CIRIACO BOY GUINGGUING VS. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS


September 30, 2005
G.R. No. 128959
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The liberty of the press is indeed essential. Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation
must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. - Benjamin Franklin

FACTS: Complainant Cirse Choy Torralba was a broadcast journalist who handled two programs for
radio stations DYLA and DYFX based in Cebu but programs were aired over portion of Visayas and
Mindanao. Segundo Lim caused the publication of records of criminal cases filed against complainant
Torralba as well as photographs of the latter being arrested, by means of a one-page advertisement
“Request for Public Service”, paid for by Lim in the Sunday Post, a weekly publication edited and published
by Ciriaco Boy Guingguing. The Sunday Post was circulated in the province of Bohol, as well as in the
Visayas and Mindanao.

Complainant Torralba filed a libel case and damages against Lim. It was claimed that the
publication was also designed to degrade and malign his person and destroy him as a broadcast journalist.
Lim, in his defense, claimed that Torralba was allegedly making scurrilous attacks against him and his
family over the airwaves. Since Lim had no access to radio time, he opted for paid advertisements via
newspaper to answer the attacks, as a measure of self-defense.

ISSUE/S: Whether the advertisement in question falls squarely within the bounds of constitutionally
protected expression under Section 4, Article III (Freedom of Speech)

RULING: YES. In order to justify a conviction for criminal libel against a public figure, it must be established
beyond reasonable doubt that the libelous statements were made or published with actual malice, meaning
knowledge that the statement was false or with reckless disregard as to whether or not it was true.

There are two main determinants: whether complainant is a public figure, and assuming that he is,
whether the publication of the subject advertisement was made with actual malice. The Supreme
Court decided that

(1) Complainant is a public figure; He is a broadcast journalist hosting two radio programs aired over a
large portion of the Visayas and Mindanao.
(2) And Actual Malice is not proven. Set otherwise, the prosecution must have established beyond
reasonable doubt that the defendants knew the statements in the advertisement was false or nonetheless
proceeded with reckless disregard as to publish it whether or not it was true. There was nothing untruthful
about what was published in the Sunday Post. The criminal cases listed in the advertisement as pending
against the complainant had indeed been filed. Yet such information hardly falls within any realm of privacy
complainant could invoke, since the pendency of these criminal charges are actually matters of public
record.

The guarantee of free speech was enacted to protect not only polite speech, but even expression
in its most unsophisticated form. Criminal libel stands as a necessary qualification to any absolutist
interpretation of the free speech clause, if only because it prevents the proliferation of untruths which if
unrefuted, would gain an undue influence in the public discourse. But in order to safeguard against fears
that the public debate might be muted due to the reckless enforcement of libel laws, truth has been
sanctioned as a defense, much more in the case when the statements in question address public issues or
involve public figures.

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HUMAN RIGHTS LAW BY: MILEA KIM KARLA CABUHAT
ATTY. CYRUS SUALOG
2NDSEMESTER - SY 2016 -2017

SPOUSES ROZELLE RAYMOND MARTIN AND CLAUDINE MARGARET SANTIAGO vs. RAFFY
TULFO, BEN TULFO, AND ERWIN TULFO
G.R. No. 205039
October 21, 2015
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FACTS: At around 11:40 in the morning of May 6, 2012, Spouses arrived at the NAIA 3 aboard a Cebu
Pacific Airline flight from a vacation with their family and friends. They waited for the arrival of their baggage
but were eventually informed that it was offloaded and transferred to a different flight. Aggrieved, Spouses
lodged a complaint before the Cebu Pacific complaint desk. As they were complaining, they noticed a man
taking photos of Claudine with his cellular phone. Ray mart approached the man and asked what he was
doing. Suddenly, the man, later identified as Ramon "Mon" Tulfo (Mon), allegedly punched and kicked
Raymart, forcing the latter to fight back. When Claudine saw the commotion, she approached Mon and the
latter likewise allegedly kicked and pushed her back against the counter. At that instance, Raymart rushed
to defend his wife, while one Edoardo Benjamin Atilano (Atilano) joined in the brawl. Immediately thereafter,
several airport security personnel came to stop the altercation and brought them to the Airport Police
Department for investigation.

Days after the incident, Tulfo brothers, brothers of Mon, aired on their TV program comments and
expletives against Spouses Santiago, and threatened that they will retaliate. Terrified by the gravity of the
threats hurled, Spouses filed a petition for the issuance of a writ of amparo against Tulfo Brothers. Erwin
Tulfo filed a Manifestation and Motion to Deny Issuance of Protection Order and/or Dismissal of the Petition
Motu Proprio which was opposed by Spouses Santiago for being a prohibited pleading.

The Presiding Judge issued a Resolution granting a TPO in favor of spouses and directed the
Tulfo brothers to file their return/answer. In his return/answer, Ben Tulfo claimed that the statements he
uttered did not involve any actual threat and that he merely expressed his strong sentiments to defend his
brother. However, The RTC dismissed the petition and ordered the dissolution of the TPO. It held that the
petition is not a proper subject of a writ of amparo since the rules were intended to apply solely to cases of
extralegal killings and enforced disappearances.

ISSUE: Whether or not Writ of Amparo is limited only to cases of extrajudicial killings, enforced
disappearances, or threats

HELD: YES. "The Rule on the Writ of Amparo," was intended to address and, thus, is presently confined to
cases involving extralegal killings and/or enforced disappearances, or threats thereof:

Consistent therewith, the delimitation of our current writ of amparo to extralegal killings and/or
enforced disappearances, or threats thereof, is explicit from Section 1 of A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC, which reads:

Section 1. Petition. - The petition for 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.

While the foregoing rule, as per Section 1 of A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC's first paragraph, does state that
the writ is a remedy to protect the right to life, liberty, and security of the person desiring to avail of it, the
same section's second paragraph qualifies that the protection of such rights specifically pertain to extralegal
killings and enforced disappearances or threats thereof, which are more concrete cases that involve
protection to the rights to life, liberty and security. The two paragraphs should indeed be read together in
order to construe the meaning of the provision. Clearly applicable is the statutory construction rule that
"clauses and phrases must not be taken as detached and isolated expressions, but the whole and every
part thereof must be considered in fixing the meaning of any of its parts in order to produce a harmonious
whole. Every part of the statute [or, in this case, procedural rule] must be interpreted with reference to the
context, i.e., that every part of the statute must be considered together with other parts of the statute and
kept subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment."32

In this case, it is undisputed that petitioners' amparo petition before the RTC does not allege any
case of extrajudicial killing and/or enforced disappearance, or any threats thereof, in the senses above-
described. Their petition is merely anchored on a broad invocation of respondents' purported violation of
their right to life and security, carried out by private individuals without any showing of direct or indirect
government participation. Thus, it is apparent that their amparo petition falls outside the purview of A.M.
No. 07-9-12-SC and, perforce, must fail.

ARTHUR BALAO, et. al., vs. GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, et. al.

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HUMAN RIGHTS LAW BY: MILEA KIM KARLA CABUHAT
ATTY. CYRUS SUALOG
2NDSEMESTER - SY 2016 -2017

G.R. No. 186050


December 13, 2011
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FACTS: James M. Balao is a Psychology and Economics graduate of the UP-Baguio. He was
among those who founded the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), a coalition of non-government
organizations (NGOs) working for the cause of indigenous peoples in the Cordillera Region.
Sometime in 1988, while working for the CPA, he was arrested on the charge of violation of the
Anti-Subversion Law but the case was eventually dismissed for lack of evidence.

Sometime in 2008, Five men in civilian clothes who were carrying firearms alighted from the van
and immediately approached the man poking their guns on him, and was later identified as Balao.
They grabbed and handcuffed him. The man was asking why he was being apprehended. One of
the armed men addressed the people witnessing the incident, saying they were policemen. Before
leaving the place, one of the armed men was also heard telling the driver of the van that they are
going to proceed to Camp Dangwa (PNP Provincial Headquarters in La Trinidad, Benguet).

Thus, the Balao family, with the assistance of the CPA and other NGOs, tried to locate
James. They also sought the help of the media to announce James’s disappearance and wrote
several government agencies to inform them of his disappearance and enlist their help in locating
him. Contending that there is no plain, speedy or adequate remedy for them to protect James’s life,
liberty and security, petitioners prayed for the issuance of a writ of amparo ordering the
respondents to disclose where James is detained or confined, to release James, and to cease and
desist from further inflicting harm upon his person. They likewise prayed for (1) an inspection
order for the inspection of at least 11 military and police facilities which have been previously
reported as detention centers for activists abducted by military and police operatives; (2) a
production order for all documents that contain evidence relevant to the petition, particularly the
Order of Battle List and any record or dossier respondents have on James; and (3) a witness
protection order.
The Writ of Amparo6 was issued directing respondents to file their verified return together
with their supporting affidavit within five days from receipt of the writ.

Respondents contended that the petition failed to meet the requirement in the Rule on the
Writ of Amparo that claims must be established by substantial evidence

RTC issued a Writ of Amparo Ordering the respondents to (a) disclose where James Balao
is detained or confined, (b) to release James Balao considering his unlawful detention since his
abduction and (c) to cease and desist from further inflicting harm upon his person; and DENY the
issuance of INSPECTION ORDER, PRODUCTION ORDER and WITNESS PROTECTION
ORDER for failure of herein Petitioners to comply with the stringent provisions on the Rule on the
Writ of Amparo and substantiate the same.

The RTC further held that "more likely than not," the motive for James’s disappearance is
his activist/political leanings and that James’s case is one of an enforced disappearance as defined
under the Rule on the Writ of Amparo. In so ruling, the RTC considered (1) the several incidents
of harassment mentioned in Beverly’s testimony and enumerated in the petition; and (2) the
references in the petition to the CPA as a front for the CPP-NPA.

The RTC likewise ruled that the government unmistakably violated James’s right to
security of person. It found the investigation conducted by respondents as very limited, superficial
and one-sided. The police and military thus miserably failed to conduct an effective investigation
of James’s abduction as revealed by the investigation report of respondents’ own witnesses, Supt.
Martin and P/S Supt. Fortunato Basco Albas, the Commander of Task Force Balao. It further noted
that respondents did not investigate the military officials believed to be behind the abduction as
said military officials were merely invited to a dialogue and there was no investigation made in
Camp Dangwa where the abductors were believed to have taken James as narrated by the

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HUMAN RIGHTS LAW BY: MILEA KIM KARLA CABUHAT
ATTY. CYRUS SUALOG
2NDSEMESTER - SY 2016 -2017

witnesses. Moreover, the RTC observed that despite the undertaking of respondents to investigate
the abduction and provide results thereof, four months have passed but petitioners have not been
furnished reports regarding the investigation.

Both parties appealed.

ISSUE/S: whether the totality of evidence satisfies the degree of proof required by the
Amparo Rule to establish an enforced disappearance.

The abduction of James Balao can only be attributed to the Respondents who have
command responsibility of all the actions of their subordinates and who are the primary persons in
the implementation of the government’s all out war policy.

It may plausibly be contended that command responsibility, as legal basis to hold


military/police commanders liable for extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances, or threats,
may be made applicable to this jurisdiction on the theory that the command responsibility doctrine
now constitutes a principle of international law or customary international law in accordance with
the incorporation clause of the Constitution.

Subsequently, we have clarified that the inapplicability of the doctrine of command


responsibility in an amparo proceeding does not, by any measure, preclude impleading military or
police commanders on the ground that the complained acts in the petition were committed with
their direct or indirect acquiescence. Commanders may therefore be impleaded—not actually on
the basis of command responsibility—but rather on the ground of their responsibility, or at least
accountability.

Assessing the evidence on record, we find that the participation in any manner of military
and police authorities in the abduction of James has not been adequately proven. The identities of
the abductors have not been established, much less their link to any military or police unit. There
is likewise no concrete evidence indicating that James is being held or detained upon orders of or
with acquiescence of government agents.

In view of the foregoing evidentiary gaps, respondents clearly failed to discharge their
burden of extraordinary diligence in the investigation of James’s abduction. Such ineffective
investigation extant in the records of this case prevents us from completely exonerating the
respondents from allegations of accountability for James’ disappearance.

As to the matter of dropping President Arroyo as party-respondent, though not raised in


the petitions, we hold that the trial court clearly erred in holding that presidential immunity cannot
be properly invoked in an amparo proceeding. As president, then President Arroyo was enjoying
immunity from suit when the petition for a writ of amparo was filed. Moreover, the petition is
bereft of any allegation as to what specific presidential act or omission violated or threatened to
violate petitioners’ protected rights.

2. Lastly, on the denial of the prayer for interim reliefs under the Amparo Rule.

An inspection order is an interim relief designed to give support or strengthen the claim of
a petitioner in an amparo petition, in order to aid the court before making a decision.48 A basic
requirement before an amparo court may grant an inspection order is that the place to be inspected
is reasonably determinable from the allegations of the party seeking the order.49 In this case, the
issuance of inspection order was properly denied since the petitioners specified several military
and police establishments based merely on the allegation that the testimonies of victims and
witnesses in previous incidents of similar abductions involving activists disclosed that those
premises were used as detention centers. In the same vein, the prayer for issuance of a production
order was predicated on petitioners’ bare allegation that it obtained confidential information from

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HUMAN RIGHTS LAW BY: MILEA KIM KARLA CABUHAT
ATTY. CYRUS SUALOG
2NDSEMESTER - SY 2016 -2017

an unidentified military source, that the name of James was included in the so-called Order of
Battle. Indeed, the trial court could not have sanctioned any "fishing expedition" by precipitate
issuance of inspection and production orders on the basis of insufficient claims of one party.

Nonetheless, the trial court is not precluded, as further evidence warrants, to grant the
above interim reliefs to aid it in making a decision upon evaluation of the actions taken by the
respondents under the norm of extraordinary diligence.

WHEREFORE, the petitions in G.R. Nos. 186050 and 186059 are PARTLY GRANTED.
The Judgment dated January 19, 2009 of the Regional Trial Court of La Trinidad, Benguet, Branch
63, in Special Proceeding No. 08-AMP-0001 is MODIFIED as follows:

1) REVERSING the grant of the privilege of the writ of amparo;

2) AFFIRMING the denial of the prayer for inspection and production orders, without
prejudice to the subsequent grant thereof, in the course of hearing and other developments in the
investigations by the Philippine National Police/Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation
and Detection Group and the Armed Forces of the Philippines;

3) ORDERING the incumbent Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, or
his successor, and the incumbent Director General of the Philippine National Police, or his
successor, to CONTINUE the investigations and actions already commenced by the Philippine
National Police Regional Office–Cordillera, Baguio City Police, Northern Luzon Command,
Philippine National Police/Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group,
Philippine Army-Intelligence Service Unit and other concerned units, and specifically take and
continue to take the necessary steps:

(a) to identify the persons described in the cartographic sketches submitted by Task Force
Balao;

(b) to locate and search the vehicles bearing the plate numbers submitted by the petitioners
and which James Balao had reported to be conducting surveillance on his person prior to his
abduction on September 17, 2008, and investigate the registered owners or whoever the previous
and present possessors/transferees thereof; and to pursue any other leads relevant to the abduction
of James Balao;

The incumbent Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff, Philippine National Police
Director General, or their successors, shall ensure that the investigations and actions of their
respective units on the abduction of James Balao are pursued with extraordinary diligence as
required by Sec. 17 of the Amparo Rule.

EDITA T. BURGOS vs. GEN. HERMOGENES ESPERON, JR., et.al.


G.R. No. 183711

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HUMAN RIGHTS LAW BY: MILEA KIM KARLA CABUHAT
ATTY. CYRUS SUALOG
2NDSEMESTER - SY 2016 -2017

June 22, 2010


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In this same Resolution, we also affirmed the CA’s dismissal of the petitions for Contempt
and issuance of a Writ of Amparo with respect to President Macapagal-Arroyo who was then
entitled, as President, to immunity from suit.

The March 15, 2011 CHR Report

On March 15, 2011, the CHR submitted to the Court its Investigation Report on the
Enforced Disappearance of Jonas Burgos (CHR Report), in compliance with our June 22, 2010
Resolution. On the basis of the gathered evidence, the CHR submitted the following findings:

Petition for Habeas Corpus

The CA held that the issue in the petition for habeas corpus is not the illegal confinement
or detention of Jonas, but his enforced disappearance. Considering that Jonas was a victim of
enforced disappearance, the present case is beyond the ambit of a petition for habeas corpus.

Petition for the Writ of Amparo

Based on its finding that Jonas was a victim of enforced disappearance, the CA concluded
that the present case falls within the ambit of the Writ of Amparo. The CA found that the totality
of the evidence supports the petitioner’s allegation that the military was involved in the enforced
disappearance of Jonas.

Based on these considerations, the CA resolved to:

1) RECOGNIZING the abduction of Jonas Burgos as an enforced disappearance covered


by the Rule on the Writ of Amparo;

2) With regard to authorship,

a) DECLARING Maj. Harry A. Baliaga, Jr. RESPONSIBLE for the enforced


disappearance of Jonas Burgos; and

b) DECLARING the Armed Forces of the Philippines and elements of the Armed Forces
of the Philippines, particularly the Philippine Army, ACCOUNTABLE for the enforced
disappearance of Jonas Burgos;

3) DECLARING the Philippine National Police ACCOUNTABLE for the conduct of an


exhaustive investigation of the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos. To this end, the PNP
through its investigative arm, the PNP-CIDG, is directed to exercise extraordinary diligence to
identify and locate the abductors of Jonas Burgos who are still at large and to establish the link
between the abductors of Jonas Burgos and those involved in the ERAP 5 incident.

(4) DIRECTING the incumbent Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and
the Director General of the Philippine National Police, and their successors, to ensure the
continuance of their investigation and coordination on the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos
until the persons found responsible are brought before the bar of justice;

(5) DIRECTING the Commission on Human Rights to continue with its own independent
investigation on the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos with the same degree of diligence
required under the Rule on the Writ of Amparo; and

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HUMAN RIGHTS LAW BY: MILEA KIM KARLA CABUHAT
ATTY. CYRUS SUALOG
2NDSEMESTER - SY 2016 -2017

(6) DIRECTING the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police
to extend full assistance to the Commission on Human Rights in the conduct of the latter’s
investigation.

The Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Director General, Philippine
National Police and the Chairman, Commission on Human Rights are hereby DIRECTED to
submit a quarterly report to this Court on the results of their respective investigation.

The filing of petitioner’s Affidavit-Complaint against Maj. Harry A. Baliaga, Jr., et al.
before the Department of Justice on June 9, 2011 is NOTED. Petitioner is DIRECTED to
immediately inform this Court of any development regarding the outcome of the case.12

The Respondent’s April 3, 2013 Motion for Partial Reconsideration

B. On the Urgent Ex Parte Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela

After reviewing the newly discovered evidence submitted by the petitioner and
considering all the developments of the case, including the March 18, 2013 CA decision that
confirmed the validity of the issuance of the Writ of Amparo in the present case, we resolve to
deny the petitioner’s Urgent Ex Parte Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela.

We note and conclude, based on the developments highlighted above, that the beneficial
purpose of the Writ of Amparo has been served in the present case. The Writ of Amparo serves
both a preventive and a curative role. It is curative as it facilitates the subsequent punishment of
perpetrators through the investigation and remedial action that it directs.24 The focus is on
procedural curative remedies rather than on the tracking of a specific criminal or the resolution of
administrative liabilities. The unique nature of Amparo proceedings has led us to define terms or
concepts specific to what the proceedings seek to achieve.

In the present case, while Jonas remains missing, the series of calculated directives issued
by the Court outlined above and the extraordinary diligence the CHR demonstrated in its
investigations resulted in the criminal prosecution of Lt. Baliaga. We take judicial notice of the
fact that the Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 216, has already found probable cause for
arbitrary detention against Lt. Baliaga and has ordered his arrest in connection with Jonas’
disappearance.

We also emphasize that the CA in its March 18, 2013 decision already ruled with finality
on the entities responsible and accountable (as these terms are defined in Razon, Jr. v. Tagitis) for
the enforced disappearance of Jonas. In its March 18, 2013 decision, the CA found, by substantial
evidence, that Lt. Baliaga participated in the abduction on the basis of Cabintoy’s positive
identification that he was one of the abductors of Jonas who told him not to interfere because the
latter had been under surveillance for drugs. In the same Decision, the CA also held the AFP and
the PNP accountable for having failed to discharge the burden of extraordinary diligence in the
investigation of the enforced disappearance of Jonas. Thus, the CA issued the following directives
to address the enforced disappearance of Jonas:

Based on the above considerations, in particular, the final ruling of the CA that confirmed
the validity of the issuance of the Writ of Amparo and its determination of the entities responsible
for the enforced disappearance of Jonas, we resolve to deny the petitioner’s prayer to issue the writ
of Amparo anew and to refer the case to the CA based on the newly discovered evidence. We so
conclude as the petitioner’s request for the reissuance of the writ and for the rehearing of the case
by the CA would be redundant and superfluous in light of: (1) the ongoing investigation being
conducted by the DOJ through the NBI; (2) the CHR investigation directed by the Court in this
Resolution; and (3) the continuing investigation directed by the CA in its March 18, 2013 decision.

We emphasize that while the Rule on the Writ of Amparo accords the Court a wide latitude
in crafting remedies to address an enforced disappearance, it cannot (without violating the nature

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HUMAN RIGHTS LAW BY: MILEA KIM KARLA CABUHAT
ATTY. CYRUS SUALOG
2NDSEMESTER - SY 2016 -2017

of the writ of Amparo as a summary remedy that provides rapid judicial relief) grant remedies that
would complicate and prolong rather than expedite the investigations already ongoing. Note that
the CA has already determined with finality that Jonas was a victim of enforced disappearance.

We clarify that by denying the petitioner’s motion, we do not thereby rule on the
admissibility or the merits of the newly discovered evidence submitted by the petitioner. We
likewise do not foreclose any investigation by the proper investigative and prosecutory agencies
of the other entities whose identities and participation in the enforced disappearance of Jonas may
be disclosed in future investigations and proceedings. Considering that the present case has already
reached the prosecution stage, the petitioner’s motion should have been filed with the proper
investigative and prosecutory agencies of the government.

To expedite proceedings, we refer the petitioner’s motion, this Resolution and its covered
cases to the DOJ for investigation, for the purpose of filing the appropriate criminal charges in the
proper courts against the proper parties, if warranted, based on the gathered evidence. For this
purpose, we direct the petitioner to furnish the DOJ and the NBI copies of her Urgent Ex Parte
Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela, together with the sealed attachments to the Motion, within five (5)
days from receipt of this Resolution.

As mentioned, we take judicial notice of the ongoing investigation by the DOJ, through
the NBI, of the disappearance of Jonas. This DOJ investigation is without prejudice to the Office
of the Ombudsman’s exercise of its primary jurisdiction over the investigation of the criminal
aspect of this case should the case be determined to be cognizable by the Sandiganbayan.29

As we direct below, further investigation for purposes of the present proceedings shall
continue to be undertaken by the CHR, in close coordination with the NBI, for the completion of
the investigation under the terms of our June 22, 2010 Resolution and the additional directives
under the present Resolution.

As a final note, we emphasize that our ROLE in a writ of Amparo proceeding is merely to
determine whether an enforced disappearance has taken place; to determine who is responsible or
accountable; and to define and impose the appropriate remedies to address the disappearance.

As shown above, the beneficial purpose of the Writ of Amparo has been served in the
present case with the CA’s final determination of the persons responsible and accountable for the
enforced disappearance of Jonas and the commencement of criminal action against Lt. Baliaga. At
this stage, criminal, investigation and prosecution proceedings are already beyond the reach of the
Writ of Amparo proceeding now before us.

Based on the above developments, we now hold that the full extent of the remedies
envisioned by the Rule on the Writ of Amparo has been served and exhausted.

Considering the foregoing, the Court RESOLVES to:

(1) DENY petitioner Edita Burgos’ Urgent Ex Parte Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela;

(2) REFER the petitioner’s Urgent Ex Parte Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela, this Resolution
and its covered cases to the Department of Justice for investigation for the purpose of filing the
appropriate criminal charges in the proper courts against the proper parties if such action is
warranted by the gathered evidence. The referral to the Department of Justice is without prejudice
to the Office of the Ombudsman’s exercise of its primary jurisdiction over the investigation should
the case be determined to be cognizable by the Sandiganbayan;

(3) DIRECT the petitioner to furnish the Department of Justice and the National Bureau
of Investigation copies of her Urgent Ex Parte Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela, together with the
sealed attachments to the Motion, within five (5) days from receipt of this Resolution;

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2NDSEMESTER - SY 2016 -2017

(4) DIRECT the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court to allow the duly-authorized
representatives of the Commission on Human Rights to inspect the requested documents in camera
within five (5) days from receipt of this Resolution. For this purpose, the documents shall be
examined and compared with the cartographic sketches of the two abductors of Jonas Burgos
without copying and bringing the documents outside the premises of the Office of the Clerk of
Court of the Supreme Court. The inspection of the documents shall be conducted within office
hours and for a reasonable period of time that would allow the Commission on Human Rights to
comprehensively investigate the lead provided by Virgilio Eustaquio;

(5) DIRECT the National Bureau of Investigation to coordinate and provide direct
investigative assistance to the Commission on Human Rights as the latter may require, pursuant to
the authority granted under the Court's June 22, 2010 Resolution.

(6) REQUIRE the Commission on Human Rights to submit a supplemental investigation


report to the Department of Justice, copy furnished the petitioner, the National Bureau of
Investigation, the incumbent Chiefs of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National
Police and the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, and all the
respondents, within sixty (60) days from receipt of this Resolution.

(7) DECLARE this Writ of Amparo proceeding closed and terminated, without prejudice
to the concerned parties' compliance with the above directives and subject to the Court's continuing
jurisdiction to enforce compliance with this Resolution.

Burgos vs. Gen. Esperon


JONAS BURGOS, farmer and son of the late press freedom hero Joe Burgos. He was a
member of the Alyansa ng Masasaka sa Bulacan (AMB), an affiliate of the Kilusang

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HUMAN RIGHTS LAW BY: MILEA KIM KARLA CABUHAT
ATTY. CYRUS SUALOG
2NDSEMESTER - SY 2016 -2017

Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, an organization tagged by the military as an "enemy of the


state". He was abducted by armed men 28 April 2007 while having lunch in a Quezon
City restaurant.

Witnesses revealed to police investigators that the young Burgos was forcibly taken by
four to eight men from the EVER Gotesco Mall to a waiting maroon Toyota Revo. One
of the abductors reportedly identified himself as a police officer.Police investigation also
yielded a car plate number. Task Force Usig said the name of a certain Mauro Mudlong
came up when Quezon City Policemen submitted plate number TAB 194 to the
LTO.The vehicle was traced in a military camp in Bulacan belonging to 56th Infantry
Battalion of the Philippine Army. AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. said that
the license plate TAB 194 must have been stolen.

In May 2007, Mrs. Burgos filed an information with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

In June of the same year, she filed a complaint with the Quezon City police and the next month with the
National Capital Region-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

In August 2007, Mrs. Burgos filed a petition for habeas corpus with the Supreme Court and then a petition
for writ of amparo in December of the same year.

On July 17, 2008, after 33 hearings in ten months, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for habeas
corpus, stating that Mrs. Burgos failed to show that the military was behind the abduction. The appellate
court partially granted the petition for writ of amparo and directed the military and police to provide Mrs.
Burgos all the documents she needed.

In August 2008, Mrs. Burgos appealed the Court of Appeals’ decision to the Supreme Court. After almost
a year, the high court merely ordered the CHR to reinvestigate the case because of “serious lapses” in
the investigation of authorities.

On March 15 this year, almost four years since Jonas disappeared, the CHR submitted its report and
recommendations to the Supreme Court, which include the filing of criminal charges against Baliaga who
was identified by two witnesses.

ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT the issuance of the writ of Amparo anew and to refer the case to
the CA based on the newly discovered evidence for rehearing are proper.

RULING: NO

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HUMAN RIGHTS LAW BY: MILEA KIM KARLA CABUHAT
ATTY. CYRUS SUALOG
2NDSEMESTER - SY 2016 -2017

MELISSA C. ROXAS vs. GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, et. al.


G.R. No. 189155
September 07, 2010
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------

Melissa Roxas vs. Macapagal-Arroyo

MELISSA ROXAS v. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO (2010)


J. Perez

PONENTE: Perez, J.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND:

1. Supreme Court: Petition for the issuance of Writs of Amparo and Habeas Data
2. Court of Appeals: Upon order of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals summarily heard the Original
Action for Petition of Amparo. Thereafter, the Court of Appeals issued a judgment which is the subject of the
present Petition for Review on Certiorari.

FACTS:

Melissa Roxas, an American citizen of Filipino descent, while in the United States, enrolled in an exposure program to
the Philippines with the group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-United States of America (BAYAN- USA) of which she is
a member.

On 19 May 2009, after doing survey work in Tarlac, Roxas and her companions rested in the house of Mr. Jesus Paolo
in Sitio Bagong Sikat. While Roxas and her companions were resting, 15 heavily armed men in civilian clothes forcibly
entered the house and dragged them inside a van. When they alighted from the van, she was informed that she is
being detained for being a member of Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). She was
then separated from her companions and was brought to a room, from where she could hear sounds of gunfire, noise
of planes taking off and landing, and some construction bustle.

She was interrogated and tortured for 5 straight days to convince her to abandon her communist beliefs. She was
informed by a person named “RC” that those who tortured her came from the “Special Operations Group” and that she
was abducted because her name is included in the “Order of Battle.”

On 25 May 2009, Roxas was finally released and was given a cellular phone with a sim card. She was sternly warned
not to report the incident to the group Karapatan or something untoward will happen to her and her family. After her
release, Roxas continued to receive calls from RC thru the cell phone given to her. Out of apprehension, she threw the
phone and the sim card.

Hence, on 01 June 2009, Roxas filed a petition for the issuance of Writs of Amparo and Habeas Data before
the Supreme Court, impleading the high-ranking officials of military and Philippine National Police (PNP), on the belief
that it was the government agents who were behind her abduction and torture.

SC issued the writs and referred the case to the CA for hearing, reception of evidence and appropriate action.

CA granted the privilege of writs of amparo and habeas data. However, the court a quo absolved the respondents
because it was not convinced that the respondents were responsible for the abduction and torture of Roxas.

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HUMAN RIGHTS LAW BY: MILEA KIM KARLA CABUHAT
ATTY. CYRUS SUALOG
2NDSEMESTER - SY 2016 -2017

Aggrieved, Roxas filed an appeal with the SC.

ISSUES/HELD: 1) WON the doctrine of command responsibility is applicable in an amparo petition – NO

DOCTRINE OF COMMAND RESPONSIBILITY AND THE WRIT OF AMPARO

Command responsibility as justification in impleading respondents is legally inaccurate – The use of the
doctrine of command responsibility as justification in impleading the respondents in her amparo petition, is legally
inaccurate, if not incorrect. Such doctrine is a rule of substantive law that establishes liability and, by this account,
cannot be a proper legal basis to implead a party-respondent in an amparo petition.

The Writ of Amparo as a protective remedy – As held in the case of Rubrico v. Arroyo, the writ of amparo is a
protective remedy aimed at providing judicial relief consisting of the appropriate remedial measures and directives that
may be crafted by the court, in order to address specific violations or threats of violation of the constitutional rights to
life, liberty or security. It does not fix liability for such disappearance, killing or threats, whether that may be criminal,
civil or administrative under the applicable substantive law.

Since the application of command responsibility presupposes an imputation of individual liability, it is more aptly invoked
in a full-blown criminal or administrative case rather than in a summary amparo proceeding.

However, the inapplicability of the doctrine of command responsibility does not preclude impleading military or police
commanders on the ground that the complained acts in the petition were committed with their direct or indirect
acquiescence. In which case, commanders may be impleaded — not actually on the basis of command responsibility—
but rather on the ground of their responsibility, or at least accountability.

2) WON circumstantial evidence with regard to the identity and affiliation of the perpetrators is
enough ground for the issuance of the privilege of the writ of amparo – NO

EVIDENCE REQUIRED IN AMPARO PROCEEDINGS

In amparo proceedings, direct evidence of identity must be preferred over mere circumstantial evidence
– In amparo proceedings, the weight that may be accorded to parallel circumstances as evidence of military
involvement depends largely on the availability or non-availability of other pieces of evidence that has the potential of
directly proving the identity and affiliation of the perpetrators.

Direct evidence of identity, when obtainable, must be preferred over mere circumstantial evidence based on patterns
and similarity, because the former indubitably offers greater certainty as to the true identity and affiliation of the
perpetrators.

3) WON substantial evidence to prove actual or threatened violation of the right to privacy in life,
liberty or security of the victim is necessary before the privilege of the writ may be extended – YES

EVIDENCE REQURED IN HABEAS DATA PROCEEDINGS

Substantial evidence of an actual or threatened violation of the right to privacy in life, liberty or security
of the victim is an indispensable requirement before the privilege of the writ may be extended – An
indispensable requirement before the privilege of the writ may be extended is the showing, at least by substantial
evidence, of an actual or threatened violation of the right to privacy in life, liberty or security of the victim.

In the case at bar, Roxas failed to show that there is an actual or threatened violation of such right. Hence, until such
time that any of the respondents were found to be actually responsible for the abduction and torture of Roxas, any
inference regarding the existence of reports being kept in violation of the petitioner’s right to privacy becomes
farfetched, and premature. The Court must, at least in the meantime, strike down the grant of the privilege of the writ
of habeas data.

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