Judge backpedals on Gatdula’s amparo plea
Sandy Araneta (The Philippine Star) - March 1, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A Manila judge reversed yesterday his earlier decision granting the former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) director Magtanggol Gatdula’s petition for a writ of amparo after he was linked to the ambush on NBI Deputy Director Reynaldo Esmeralda in February 2012.

Regional Trial Court Branch 26 Judge Silvino Pampilo Jr. dismissed Gatdula’s petition after the Supreme Court (SC) nullified last Feb. 19 his order granting Gatdula’s plea.

The SC, in a decision penned by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, nullified the writ of amparo issued by Pampilo in March 2012 and all orders related to it after the justices found several irregularities in the judge’s appreciation of the rules.

Gatdula sought the writ following the ambush on Esmeralda, where he was reportedly implicated. He presented before the court the affidavits of two witnesses to prove there are threats to his life.

He alleged that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, NBI Director Nonnatus Caesar Rojas and Esmeralda framed him for the ambush, in which Esmeralda and two others were wounded.

Pampilo granted his petition, saying that the writ of amparo may be issued in favor of citizens who are threatened of deprivation of their liberty, “even if the subject has not been actually arrested or has not disappeared.”

Esmeralda branded Pampilo’s latest decision a “triumph of justice” and commended the judge for “the speedy disposition of the case after the SC ordered him to do so.”

Wrong remedy

In his Feb. 28 order, Pampilo said the writ of amparo is not a remedy available to those who fear indictment. Gatdula said he wants to protect his right to life, liberty and security, which are threatened by the filing of three counts of frustrated murder against him.

Pampilo said the court is without power to stop any person or government entity from filing charges against those believed to have committed an offense.

Gatdula failed to establish a link between the respondents and the two witnesses’ claims that armed men reportedly looked for him, the judge said.

Pampilo said that even though the armed men identified themselves as NBI agents, Gatdula did not present any proof that these men were indeed from the NBI.

“It is quite strange that he did not verify from NBI the identity of these men, to think, that as former NBI chief, he still, has access to information and people within the bureau,” he said.

Pampilo also said Gatdula was unable to prove with substantial evidence that the respondents violated or threatened his right to life, liberty and security.

 

A MANILA ASSOCIATE JUSTICE MARVIC LEONEN DEPUTY DIRECTOR REYNALDO ESMERALDA DIRECTOR NONNATUS CAESAR ROJAS AND ESMERALDA FEB GATDULA JUDGE SILVINO PAMPILO JR. JUSTICE SECRETARY LEILA MAGTANGGOL GATDULA PAMPILO
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with