SC asked to recall environmentalists’ protection order

Daphne Galvez - The Philippine Star
SC asked to recall environmentalists� protection order
This photo shows a picture of environmental activists Jhed Tamano and Jonila Castro after posting bail at Doña Remedios Trinidad Municipal Trial Court in Bulacan.
Tinay Palabay / Karapatan

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has been asked to recall the temporary protection order it granted to environmentalists Jonila Castro and Jhed Tamano, who claimed they were seized by the military in Bataan last year. The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) yesterday filed an urgent motion, saying a Bulacan court had issued arrest warrants against Castro and Tamano on charges of grave oral defamation.

The charges stemmed from statements issued by Castro and Tamano in a press conference last year, which “embarrassed” the military.

The OSG said the protection order prevented law enforcement agencies from arresting the activists.

In the motion, the OSG informed the SC that the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Doña Remedios Trinidad issued the arrest warrants on Feb. 2.

“This places law enforcers in a precarious situation of defying one judicial order in deference to another judicial order,” the motion read.

The OSG said the situation requires a “thoughtful reconciliation” of protective orders with law enforcement duties.

It stressed the importance of an SC clarification on the protection order’s intended scope and application.

The OSG said a literal interpretation of the order restricts policemen from accessing areas within a one-kilometer radius of the activists and their families.

This can possibly mean that there will be no police presence in these areas because of the order’s “broad sweep,” it said.

“The outcome may affect public safety and administration of justice as the absence of lawmen in these areas may encourage criminal activities,” the OSG said.

In an order issued last week, the SC prohibited government officials and law enforcers from entering within a one-kilometer radius of the residence or locations of Castro and Tamano and their families.

The OSG also questioned the SC’s issuance of the writs of amparo and habeas data for Tamano and Castro.

It said the writs undermined an independent assessment of the Court of Appeals on the sufficiency of evidence presented by the activists.

The OSG also sought the consolidation of cases filed by Tamano and Castro before the high court with the cases filed against them before the MTC.

Castro and Tamano yesterday posted bail of P18,000 each before the MTC for their temporary liberty.

The court set the arraignment and pre-trial of the case on March 15.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

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!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with