October 08, 2008

The First

"While victims of enforced disappearances are separated from the rest of the world behind secret walls, they are not separated from the constitutional protection of their basic rights. The constitution is an overarching sky that covers all in its protection. The case at bar involves the rights to life, liberty and security in the first petition for a writ of amparo filed before this Court."

Chief Justice Reynato Puno starts his Decision in Secretary of National Defense v. Manalo, G.R. No. 180906 in this way. Read the decision here.

It's a petition that was first filed as a prohibition suit which later, after the Rule on the Writ of Amparo was passed, became an amparo petition--the very first in the Supreme Court and the very first in the Court of Appeals.

I'm proud to have been part of the team that litigated this. Kudos to Bombi Sunga, FLAG Deputy Coordinator for Metro Manila for first taking this case on, when the Manalo Brothers disappeared and litigating this issue before the CA as a habeas corpus case and to Jose Manuel Diokno, FLAG National Chair, for shepherding us through this case. Also to Cookie Diokno, FLAG Secretary General, for the great staff support.

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