Remedial Law

Petition for Writ of Amparo; Concept; Application; Prohibited Pleadings; and Issuance thereof

WRIT OF AMPARO

Petition for Writ of Amparo–– Requires the amparo respondent to state in the return the actions that have been or will still be taken: 

(a) to verify the identity of the aggrieved party; 

(b) to recover and preserve evidence related to the death or disappearance of the person identified in the petition which may aid in the prosecution of the person or persons responsible; 

(c) to identify witnesses and obtain statements from them concerning the death or disappearance; 

(d) to determine the cause, manner, location and time of death or disappearance as well as any pattern or practice that may have brought about the death or disappearance; 

(e) to identify and apprehend the person or persons involved in the death or disappearance; and 

(f) to bring the suspected offenders before a competent court. 

(Gen. Bautista vs. Atty. Dannug-Salucon, G.R. No. 221862, Jan. 23, 2018)

––      The petition for the writ of amparo partakes of a summary proceeding that requires only substantial evidence to make the appropriate interim and permanent reliefs available to the petitioner. (Gen. Bautista vs. Atty. Dannug-Salucon, G.R. No. 221862, Jan. 23, 2018)

––      The respondent who is a public official or employee must prove that extraordinary diligence as required by applicable laws, rules and regulations was observed in the performance of duty; the respondent public official or employee cannot invoke the presumption that official duty has been regularly performed to evade the responsibility or liability. (Gen. Bautista vs. Atty. Dannug-Salucon, G.R. No. 221862, Jan. 23, 2018)

Application of — In an amparo action, the parties must establish their respective claims by substantial evidence; substantial evidence is that amount of evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion; it is more than a mere imputation of wrongdoing or violation that would warrant a finding of liability against the person charged. (Mayor Mamba vs. Bueno, G.R. No. 191416, Feb. 07, 2017)

—      The local government officials are not at liberty to disregard the respondent’s constitutionally guaranteed rights to life, liberty and security, even if he has committed a crime. (Mayor Mamba vs. Bueno, G.R. No. 191416, Feb. 07, 2017)

—      The Rules of Court applies suppletorily to A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC insofar as it is not inconsistent with the latter; there being no express prohibition to the contrary, the rules on motions for reconsideration under the Rules of Court apply suppletorily to the Rule on the Writ of Amparo. (Mayor Mamba vs. Bueno, G.R. No. 191416, Feb. 07, 2017)

—      The writ of amparo is a protective remedy aimed at providing judicial relief consisting of the appropriate remedial measures and directives that may be crafted by the court, in order to address specific violations or threats of violation of the constitutional rights to life, liberty or security; the petition for a writ of amparo is a remedy available to any person whose rights to life, liberty and security are violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity; the writ shall cover extralegal killings and enforced disappearances or threats thereof. (Mayor Mamba vs. Bueno, G.R. No. 191416, Feb. 07, 2017)

—      The writ of amparo likewise covers violations of the right to security; at the core of the guarantee of the right to security, as embodied in Sec. 2, Art. III of the Constitution is the immunity of one’s person, including the extensions of his/her person, i.e., houses, papers and effects, against unwarranted government intrusion. (Mayor Mamba vs. Bueno, G.R. No. 191416, Feb. 07, 2017)

—      The writ of amparo serves both preventive and curative roles in addressing the problem of extra legal killings and enforced disappearances; it is preventive in that it breaks the expectation of impunity in the commission of these offenses; it is curative in that it facilitates the subsequent punishment of perpetrators as it will inevitably yield leads to subsequent investigation and action; may still issue in the respondent’s favor notwithstanding that he has already been released from detention. (Mayor Mamba vs. Bueno, G.R. No. 191416, Feb. 07, 2017)

Prohibited pleadings — The following pleadings and motions are prohibited: 

a. Motion to dismiss; 

b. Motion for extension of time to file return, opposition, affidavit, position paper and other pleadings; 

c. Dilatory motion for postponement; 

d. Motion for a bill of particulars; 

e. Counterclaim or cross-claim; 

f. Third-party complaint; 

g. Reply; 

h. Motion to declare respondent in default; 

i. Intervention; 

j. Memorandum; 

k. Motion for reconsideration of interlocutory orders or interim relief orders; and 

l. Petition for certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition against any interlocutory order; what is prohibited under Sec. 11 of A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC are motions for reconsideration directed against interlocutory orders or interim relief orders, not those assailing the final judgment or order. 

(Mayor Mamba vs. Bueno, G.R. No. 191416, Feb. 07, 2017)

Concept

A judicial remedy to expeditiously provide relief to violations of a person’s constitutional right to life, liberty, and security, and more specifically, to address the problem of extralegal killings and enforced disappearances or threats thereof; covers extralegal killings and enforced disappearances or threats thereof. (Callo vs. Commissioner Morente, G.R. No. 230324, Sept. 19, 2017)

Issuance of

A writ of amparo is an independent and summary remedy to provide immediate judicial relief for the protection of a person’s constitutional right to life and liberty; when a person is consumed by fear for her life and liberty that it completely limits her movement, the writ may be issued to secure her; thus, in resolving the necessity of issuing a writ of amparo and the corresponding protection order, the courts must look at the overall circumstance surrounding the applicant and respondents.  (Lt. Sgt. Gadian vs. Armed Forces of the Phils. Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ibrado, G.R. No. 188163, Oct. 03, 2017)

—      It has to be shown by the required quantum of proof that the disappearance was carried out by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the government or a political organization, and that there is a refusal to acknowledge the same or to give information on the fate or whereabouts of the missing persons; it is not sufficient that a person’s life is endangered; it is even not sufficient to allege and prove that a person has disappeared. (Callo vs. Commissioner Morente, G.R. No. 230324, Sept. 19, 2017)

—      Under the Rule on the Writ of Amparo, the persons or agencies who may provide protection to the aggrieved parties and any member of the immediate family are limited to government agencies, and accredited persons or private institutions capable of keeping and securing their safety, but in respect of the latter, they should be accredited in accordance with guidelines still to be issued; the lack of accreditation should not have hindered but instead invited the holding of the hearing. (Lt. Sgt. Gadian vs. Armed Forces of the Phils. Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ibrado, G.R. No. 188163, Oct. 03, 2017)

Petition for

— It is not required to state the probable whereabouts of the victim. (Rep. of the Phils. vs. Cayanan, G.R. No. 181796, Nov. 07, 2017)

—      The court hearing the petition may grant the privilege of the writ of amparo and such reliefs as may be proper and appropriate; this means that the amparo court should enable every act or move to prevent any violation of another person’s right to life, liberty and security or to defeat any threat of a violation of such right. (Rep. of the Phils. vs. Cayanan, G.R. No. 181796, Nov. 07, 2017)

—      The diligence required of a public official or employee who is named as a respondent in the petition for the writ of amparo, the diligence required of was extraordinary; Sec. 9 of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo expressly states what a public official or employee impleaded as a respondent in the petition for the writ of amparo should submit with the verified written return. (Rep. of the Phils. vs. Cayanan, G.R. No. 181796, Nov. 07, 2017)

—      The proceedings taken under the Rule on the Writ of Amparo are not akin or similar to those in criminal prosecutions; in the former, the guilt or innocence of the respondents is not determined, and no penal sanctions are meted; the proceedings only endeavor to give the aggrieved parties immediate remedies against imminent or actual threats to life, liberty or security; the presumption of innocence is never an issue; in the latter, the prosecution of the accused with due process of law is the object of the proceedings; the presumption of innocence in favor of the accused is always the starting point. (Rep. of the Phils. vs. Cayanan, G.R. No. 181796, Nov. 07, 2017)

—      The rule does not list the State or its agencies as possible violators simply because the State and its agencies may not be presumed to sanction such violations; in proper circumstances, the State or any of its relevant agencies may be impleaded; otherwise, the rule on the writ of amparo may be rendered ineffective or toothless. (Rep. of the Phils. vs. Cayanan, G.R. No. 181796, Nov. 07, 2017)

—      Under Sec. 9 of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo, the respondent is required to also state in the return the actions that have been or will still be taken: (a) to verify the identity of the aggrieved party; (b) to recover and preserve evidence related to the death or disappearance of the person identified in the petition which may aid in the prosecution of the person or persons responsible; (c) to identify witnesses and obtain statements from them concerning the death or disappearance; (d) to determine the cause, manner, location and time of death or disappearance as well as any pattern or practice that may have brought about the death or disappearance; (e) to identify and apprehend the person or persons involved in the death or disappearance; and (f) to bring the suspected offenders before a competent court. (Rep. of the Phils. vs. Cayanan, G.R. No. 181796, Nov. 07, 2017)

—      While any person may file a petition for the writ of habeas corpus, in a petition for the writ of amparo, the order of priority on who can file the petition should be strictly followed. (Callo vs. Commissioner Morente, G.R. No. 230324, Sept. 19, 2017)

Section 19 of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo — Explicitly allows the review by the Court of questions of fact or of law or of both. (Rep. of the Phils. vs. Cayanan, G.R. No. 181796, Nov. 07, 2017)

—      Requires substantial evidence to establish the allegations of the petition for the writ of amparo and to warrant the granting of the privilege of the writ of amparo; substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. (Rep. of the Phils. vs. Cayanan, G.R. No. 181796, Nov. 07, 2017)
Archiving of case –– Archiving of cases is a procedural measure designed to temporarily defer the hearing of cases in which no immediate action is expected, but where no grounds exist for their outright dismissal; the Amparo rule sanctions the archiving of cases, provided that it is impelled by a valid cause, such as when the witnesses fail to appear due to threats on their lives or to similar analogous causes that would prevent the court from effectively hearing  and  conducting  the amparo proceedings. (Balao vs. Ermita, G.R. No. 186050, Aug. 01, 2017)

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