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CHR: SC’s decision to uphold writ of amparo vs. EJKs ‘a meaningful measure’

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the writ of amparo as a protection against extrajudicial killings is a “meaningful measure,” the Commission on Human Rights said on Thursday.

“The Commission highlights the importance of these meaningful measures that ensure judicial relief for cases that might endanger one’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, or security,” CHR Executive Director Jacqueline Ann de Guia said in a statement.

“The Writ of Amparo, in particular, is a substantial petition as its protective remedies extend to the immediate family of aggrieved parties, or—in cases where there is no immediate family—any collateral relatives or known associations,” she added.

Last week, the high court affirmed the issuance of a writ of amparo in favor of widow Christina Gonzales whose husband, Joselito, was killed in a police drug operation in Antipolo City.

In a decision, the court denied the petition for review filed by police officers from Antipolo City assailing the 2018 decision and 2019 resolution of the Court of Appeals, which upheld the writ of amparo issued in favor of Gonzales.

The CA decision also recommended the filing of appropriate civil, criminal, and administrative charges against the law enforcement officers, and issued a Permanent Protection Order prohibiting them from entering within a radius of one kilometer from Gozonales' residences and work addresses.

Also, the SC said it found evidence that threats to Gonzales' life were present and that the issuance of a writ of amparo was proper after examining the totality of the evidence.

Meanwhile, De Guia said the SC’s decision was “timely and welcome assurance of protection” for the most vulnerable against threats of intimidation as it would also help the Department of Justice (DOJ) continue its investigation on the campaign against illegal drugs.

“Taking into account similar cases that are yet to be tried in the Courts, CHR remains hopeful that the progress of inquiries and their succeeding verdicts will adhere to the immediate, independent, and impartial standards mandated upon the distinctive functions of the judiciary,” she said.

“We likewise hope that more government agencies, especially those from the security sector, follow suit and unequivocally uphold the human rights of all,” she added. — Mel Matthew Doctor/BM, GMA News