MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said on Wednesday, February 20 that the writ of amparo was misused in a case involving a newsman in Pangasinan who had asked the Supreme Court to order the release of his son.
The SC issued the writ of amparo on February 19 to Jaime Aquino, a publisher in Pangasinan, who asked that his son - a witness in the murder case of Infanta Mayor Ruperto Martinez - be released by the National Bureau of Investigation and the group Akap Bata Philippines.
Aquino's son testified that Pangasinan Gov Amado Espino Jr and Rep Jesus Celeste talked about having Martinez killed in a meeting in November 2011. Also allegedly present in the said meeting were Aquino himself and Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane.
The writ of amparo is a remedy availed of in cases of illegal detention and arrest.
De Lima said Aquino's son was not being held against his will, however, adding that the 17-year-old "voluntarily sought refuge at Akap Bata Philippines and which in turn sought NBI's help."
Aquino has said that his son should be turned over to him and that his son will not be a credible witness because he is allegedly a drug user and a thief.
De Lima said they are ready to challenge the "propriety of such writ and/or prove the utter lack of merit of the petition."
She said they simply served as protectors of the witness as this is part of their mandate. - Rappler.com