Rights group to appeal CA dismissal of amparo petition

Rhodina Villanueva - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Human rights group Karapatan yesterday said it would appeal the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) dismissing the petitions for writ of amparo and habeas data it filed together with the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines and Gabriela.

In a decision signed by CA Associate Justice Mario Lopez on Friday, the appellate court said there is ”no substantial evidence” of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, malicious prosecutions and defamation that the groups alleged in the petitions.

The CA said the circumstances of the alleged killings ”did not carry sufficient weight to prove that the government orchestrated such murder and abduction.”

The appellate court added that there was no evidence that the alleged killings were related to the petitioners’ membership to organizations tagged as legal fronts of communists and terror groups.

 Karapatan secretary-general Cristina Palabay said the dismissal of their petitions is a ”gross disservice” to human rights defenders who have been killed and ”continue to remain in the line of fire.”

 ”This is tantamount to complicity on the attacks perpetrated against us,” Palabay said.

She also noted that the CA justices rendered a decision without allowing the petitioners to present testimonial evidence and other documents to prove their allegations.

Karapatan deputy secretary-general Roneo Clamo said the CA ruling acknowledged the attacks against the groups but absolved the government.

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