Judge Issues Writ For Missing Baguio Activist
Baguio City - A writ of Amparo has been issued this week by an RTC judge for missing activist James Balao, ordering the government to produce or disclose his whereabouts.
In the order dated January 19, Benguet Regional Trial Court Judge Benigno Galacgac, is asking the government to "disclose where he is detained or confined" and to "cease and desist from further inflicting harm upon his person".
James Balao, a UP-Baguio alumnae and founder of the Cordillera People's Alliance, was abducted last September 17 in Benguet by armed men believed to be soldiers or government agents. A writ of amparo was filed by his family on October last year in the same court presided by Judge Galacgac. The motion was denied then because petitioners failed to comply with provisions on the rule on the writ of amparo.
In issuing the writ, which names President Gloria Arroyo as respondent along with high-level executive, military and police officials, Judge Galacgac said "the duty of the President to faithfully execute the laws of the land places the Chief Executive under the rule of law. Her Excellency should thus be made aware of impediments in the system that threatens or subverts human rights so she could act accordingly to counteract their negative impact on society." Galacgac also took to task the police and military for their failure "in conducting an effective investigation of his abduction".
The writ of amparo, as a legal remedy to compel government to produce and disclose relevant data that would help solve cases of extra-judicial killings and forced disappearances, went into effect on September 25, 2007.
Tags: James Balao , Disappeared , Missing , Activist , Philippines , Desaparecidos
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