You are on page 1of 37

Human Rights Law Chapter 6

Remedies and Procedures For Responding To Human Rights Violations and Human Rights
Abuses
(1)(Aberca v. Ver, G.R. No. 69866, April 15, 1988)
(8)(Republic v. Sandoval, G.R. No. 84607, 84645, March 19, 1993)
(15) (concerned Citizens of Obando vs Ecoshield development Corp., Et al 2001, Bondoc v. J.P. Paje,
G.R. No. 198890, March 13, 2012)
(15) ICC on Thomas Lubanga Dyilo Case, Democratic Republic of Congo, March 1 2012
(20) (Secretary of National Defense v. Manalo, G.R. No. 180906, October 07, 2008)
(Aberca v. Ver, G.R. No. 69866, April 15,
1988)
EN BANC
[G.R. No. 69866. April 15, 1988.]
ROGELIO ABERCA, RODOLFO BENOSA, NESTOR
BODINO, NOEL ETABAG, DANILO DE LA FUENTE,
BELEN DIAZ-FLORES, MANUEL MARIO GUZMAN,
ALAN JAZMINEZ, EDWIN LOPEZ, ALFREDO
MANSOS,
ALEX
MARCELINO,
ELIZABETH
PROTACIO-MARCELINO, JOSEPH OLAYER, CARLOS
PALMA, MARCO PALO, ROLANDO SALUTIN,
BENJAMIN SESGUNDO, ARTURO TABARA, EDWIN
TULALIAN and REBECCA TULALIAN, petitioners,
vs. MAJ. GEN. FABIAN VER, COL. FIDEL SINGSON,
COL. ROLANDO ABADILLA, COL. GERARDO B.
LANTORIA, COL. GALILEO KINTANAR, LT. COL.
PANFILO M. LACSON, MAJ. RODOLFO AGUINALDO,
CAPT. DANILO PIZARRO, 1LT. PEDRO TANGO, 1LT.
ROMEO RICARDO, 1LT. RAUL BACALSO, MSGT.
BIENVENIDO BALABA, and REGIONAL TRIAL
COURT, National Capital Judicial Region, Branch
XCV (95), Quezon City, respondents.
SYLLABUS
1. CIVIL LAW; INDEPENDENT CIVIL ACTION;
DAMAGES FOR VIOLATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL
RIGHTS; MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES
LIABLE. Article 32 of the Civil Code which
renders any public officer or employee or any
private individual liable in damages for violating
the Constitutional rights and liberties of another,
as enumerated therein, does not exempt the
respondents from responsibility. Only judges are
excluded from liability under the said article,
provided their acts or omissions do not constitute
a violation of the Penal Code or other penal
statute.
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; NOT AFFECTED BY SUSPENSION OF
THE PRIVILEGE OF WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS.
The suspension of the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus does not destroy petitioners' right
and cause of action for damages for illegal arrest
and detention and other violations of their
constitutional rights.
3. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; HABEAS CORPUS;
SUSPENSION OF PRIVILEGE OF THE WRIT DOES
NOT VALIDATE ILLEGAL ARREST OR DETENTION.
The suspension does not render valid an
otherwise illegal arrest or detention. What is
suspended is merely the right of the individual to
seek release from detention through the writ of
1|HR_CHAPTER 6

habeas corpus as a speedy means of obtaining


his liberty.
4. CIVIL LAW; INDEPENDENT CIVIL ACTION;
DAMAGES FOR VIOLATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL
RIGHTS; DOCTRINE OF RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR
NOT APPLICABLE TO SUPERIOR OFFICERS OF THE
ARMED FORCES AND THEIR SUBORDINATES.
The
doctrine
of
respondent
superior
is
inapplicable to the case. We agree. The doctrine
of respondent superior has been generally limited
in its application to principal and agent or to
master and servant (i.e. employer and employee)
relationship. No such relationship exists between
superior officers of the military and their
subordinates.
5. ID.; ID.; ID.; PERSONS RESPONSIBLE. Article
32 speaks of an officer or employee or person
"directly" or "indirectly" responsible for the
violation of the constitutional rights and liberties
of another. Thus, it is not the actor alone (i.e. the
one directly responsible) who must answer for
damages under Article 32; the person indirectly
responsible has also to answer for the damages
or injury caused to the aggrieved party.
6. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID. By this provision, the
principle of accountability of public officials under
the Constitution acquires added meaning and
assumes a larger dimension. No longer may a
superior official relax his vigilance or abdicate his
duty to supervise his subordinates, secure in the
thought that he does not have to answer for the
transgressions committed by the latter against
the constitutionally protected rights and liberties
of the citizen. Part of the factors that propelled
people power in February 1986 was the widely
held perception that the government was callous
or indifferent to, if not actually responsible for,
the rampant violations of human rights. While it
would certainly be too naive to expect that
violators of human rights would easily be
deterred by the prospect of facing damage suits,
it should nonetheless be made clear in no
uncertain terms that Article 32 of the Civil Code
makes the persons who are directly, as well as
indirectly, responsible for the transgression joint
tortfeasors.
7. REMEDIAL LAW' MOTION TO DISMISS; FAILURE
TO STATE A CAUSE OF ACTION, A GROUND;
DETERMINED BY THE FACTS ALLEGED IN THE
COMPLAINT. A motion to dismiss on the ground
that the complaint states no cause of action must
be based on what appears on the face of the
complaint. To determine the sufficiency of the
cause of action, only the facts alleged in the
complaint, and no others, should be considered.

For this purpose, the motion to dismiss must


hypothetically admit the truth of the facts alleged
in the complaint.
8. LEGAL ETHICS; ATTORNEYS; AUTHORITY TO
APPEAR FOR A PARTY, ASSUMED. The authority
of an attorney to appear for and in behalf of a
party can be assumed, unless questioned or
challenged by the adverse party or the party
concerned, which was never done in this case.
9. REMEDIAL LAW; COMPLAINT; DISMISSAL OF
COMPLAINT WITH RESPECT TO PARTIES WHOSE
LAWYERS DID NOT SIGN THE MOTION FOR
RECONSIDERATION CONSTITUTES GRAVE ABUSE
OF DISCRETION. In filing the motion to set
aside the resolution of November 8, 1983, the
signing attorneys did so on behalf of all the
plaintiffs. They needed no specific authority to do
that. Thus, it was grave abuse on the part of
respondent judge to take it upon himself to rule
that the motion to set aside the order of
November 8, 1953 dismissing the complaint was
filed only by some of the plaintiffs, when by its
very language it was clearly intended to be filed
by and for the benefit of all of them. It is obvious
that the respondent judge took umbrage under a
contrived technicality to declare that the
dismissal of the complaint had already become
final with respect to some of the plaintiffs whose
lawyers
did
not
sign
the
motion
for
reconsideration. Such action tainted with legal
infirmity cannot be sanctioned.
TEEHANKEE, C.J., concurring:
1. CIVIL LAW; INDEPENDENT CIVIL ACTION;
DAMAGES FOR VIOLATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL
RIGHTS; PERSONS COVERED. All persons, be
they public officers or employees, or members of
the military or police force or private individuals
who directly or indirectly obstruct, defeat, violate
or in any manner impede or impair the
constitutional rights and civil liberties of another
person, stand liable and may be sued in court for
damages as provided in Art. 32 of the Civil Code.
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; PRINCIPLE OF RESPONDEAT
SUPERIOR; NOT APPLICABLE TO OFFICERS OF THE
ARMED FORCES AND THEIR SUBORDINATES.
The case at bar rejects the automatic application
of the principle of respondent superior or
command responsibility that would hold a
superior officer jointly and severally accountable
for damages, including moral and exemplary,
with his subordinates who committed such
transgressions.
3. ID.; ID.; ID.; SUPERIOR OFFICER RESPONSIBLE
FOR GROSS NEGLIGENCE IN ABDICATION OF
PROPER SUPERVISION OF SUBORDINATES. The
judgment gives the caveat that a superior officer
must not abdicate is duty to properly supervise
his subordinates for he runs the risk of being held
responsible for gross negligence and of being
held under the cited provision of the Civil Code as
indirectly and solidarily accountable with the
tortfeasor.

2|HR_CHAPTER 6

4. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; RATIONALE. The rationale


for this rule of law was best expressed by
Brandeis in this wise: "In a government of laws,
existence of the government will be imperilled if
it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our
government is the potent omnipresent teacher.
For good or ill, it teaches the whole people by
example. Crime is contagious. If the government
becomes the law breaker, it breeds contempt for
the law, it invites every man to become a law
unto himself, it invites anarchy. To declare that in
the administration of criminal law the end
justifies the means . . . . would bring terrible
retribution."
DECISION
YAP, J p:
This petition for certiorari presents vital issues
not heretofore passed upon by this Court. It poses
the question whether the suspension of the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus bars a civil
action for damages for illegal searches conducted
by military personnel and other violations of
rights and liberties guaranteed under the
Constitution. If such action for damages may be
maintained, who can be held liable for such
violations: only the military personnel directly
involved and/or their superiors as well.
This case stems from alleged illegal searches and
seizures and other violations of the rights and
liberties of plaintiffs by various intelligence units
of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, known as
Task Force Makabansa (TFM), ordered by General
Fabian Ver "to conduct pre-emptive strikes
against
known
communist-terrorist
(CT)
underground houses in view of increasing reports
about CT plans to sow disturbances in Metro
Manila." Plaintiffs allege, among others, that
complying with said order, elements of the TFM
raided several places, employing in most cases
defectively issued judicial search warrants; that
during these raids, certain members of the
raiding party confiscated a number of purely
personal items belonging to plaintiffs; that
plaintiffs were arrested without proper warrants
issued by the courts; that for some period after
their arrest, they were denied visits of relatives
and lawyers; that plaintiffs were interrogated in
violation of their rights to silence and counsel;
that military men who interrogated them
employed threats, tortures and other forms of
violence on them in order to obtain incriminatory
information or confessions and in order to punish
them; that all violations of plaintiffs constitutional
rights were part of a concerted and deliberate
plan to forcibly extract information and
incriminatory statements from plaintiffs and to
terrorize, harass and punish them, said plans
being previously known to and sanctioned by
defendants.
Plaintiffs sought actual/compensatory damages
amounting to P39,030.00; moral damages in the
amount of at least P150,000.00 each or a total of
P3,000,000.00; exemplary damages in the
amount of at least P150,000.00 each or a total of

P3,000,000.00; and attorney's fees amounting to


not less than P200,000.00.

A motion to dismiss was filed by defendants,


through their counsel, then Solicitor-General
Estelito Mendoza, alleging that (1) plaintiffs may
not cause a judicial inquiry into the circumstances
of their detention in the guise of a damage suit
because, as to them, the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus is suspended; (2) assuming that
the courts can entertain the present action,
defendants are immune from liability for acts
done in the performance of their official duties;
and (3) the complaint states no cause of action
against the defendants. Opposition to said motion
to dismiss was filed by plaintiffs Marco Palo,
Danilo de la Fuente, Benjamin Sesgundo, Nel
Etabag, Alfredo Mansos and Rolando Salutin on
July 8, 1983, and by plaintiffs Edwin Lopez,
Manuel Mario Guzman, Alan Jasminez, Nestor
Bodino, Carlos Palma, Arturo Tabara, Joseph
Olayer, Rodolfo Benosa, Belen Diaz Flores,
Rogelio Aberca, Alex Marcelino and Elizabeth
Marcelino on July 21, 1983. On November 7,
1983, a Consolidated Reply was filed by
defendants' counsel. cdrep
Then, on November 8, 1983, the Regional Trial
Court, National Capital Region, Branch 95, Judge
Willelmo C. Fortun, Presiding, 1 issued a
resolution granting the motion to dismiss. It
sustained, lock, stock and barrel, the defendants'
contention (1) the plaintiffs may not cause a
judicial inquiry into the circumstances of their
detention in the guise of a damage suit because,
as to them, the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus is suspended; (2) that assuming that the
court can entertain the present action,
defendants are immune from liability for acts
done in the performance of their official duties;
and (3) that the complaint states no cause of
action against defendants, since there is no
allegation that the defendants named in the
complaint confiscated plaintiffs' purely personal
properties in violation of their constitutional
rights, and with the possible exception of Major
Rodolfo Aguinaldo and Sergeant Bienvenido
Balabo,
committed
acts
of
torture
and
maltreatment, or that the defendants had the
duty to exercise direct supervision and control of
their subordinates or that they had vicarious
liability as employers under Article 2180 of the
Civil Code. The lower court stated, "After a careful
study of defendants' arguments, the court finds
the same to be meritorious and must, therefore,
be granted. On the other hand, plaintiffs'
arguments in their opposition are lacking in
merit."
A motion to set aside the order dismissing the
complaint and a supplemental motion for
reconsideration was filed by the plaintiffs on
November 18, 1983, and November 24, 1983,
respectively. On December 9, 1983, the
defendants filed a comment on the aforesaid
motion of plaintiffs, furnishing a copy thereof to
the attorneys of all the plaintiffs, namely, Attys.
3|HR_CHAPTER 6

Jose W. Diokno, Procopio Beltran, Rene Sarmiento,


Efren Mercado, Augusto Sanchez, Antonio L.
Rosales, Pedro B. Ella, Jr., Arno V. Sanidad,
Alexander Padilla, Joker Arroyo, Rene Saguisag,
Ramon Esguerra and Felicitas Aquino.
On December 15, 1983, Judge Fortun issued an
order voluntarily inhibiting himself from further
proceeding in the case and leaving the resolution
of the motion to set aside the order of dismissal
to Judge Lising, "to preclude any suspicion that he
(Judge Fortun) cannot resolve [the] aforesaid
pending motion with the cold neutrality of an
impartial judge and to put an end to plaintiffs'
assertion that the undersigned has no authority
or jurisdiction to resolve said pending motion."
This order prompted plaintiffs to file an
amplificatory motion for reconsideration signed in
the name of the Free Legal Assistance Group
(FLAG] of Mabini Legal Aid Committee, by Attys.
Joker P. Arroyo, Felicitas Aquino and Arno Sanidad
on April 12, 1984. On May 2, 1984, the
defendants filed a comment on said amplificatory
motion for reconsideration.
In an order dated May 11, 1984, the trial court,
Judge Esteban Lising, Presiding, without acting on
the motion to set aside order of November 8,
1983, issued an order, as follows:
"It appearing from the records that, indeed, the
following plaintiffs, Rogelio Aberca, Danilo de la
Fuente and Marco Palo, represented by counsel,
Atty. Jose W. Diokno, Alan Jasminez, represented
by counsel, Atty. Augusto Sanchez, Spouses Alex
Marcelino and Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino,
represented by counsel, Atty. Procopio Beltran,
Alfredo Mansos, represented by counsel, Atty.
Rene
Sarmiento,
and
Rolando
Salutin,
represented by counsel, Atty. Efren Mercado,
failed to file a motion to reconsider the Order of
November 8, 1983, dismissing the complaint, nor
interposed an appeal therefrom within the
reglementary period, as prayed for by the
defendants, said Order is now final against said
plaintiffs."
Assailing the said order of May 11, 1984, the
plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration on
May 28, 1984, alleging that it was not true that
plaintiffs Rogelio Aberca, Danilo de la Fuente,
Marco Palo, Alan Jasminez, Alex Marcelino,
Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino, Alfredo Mansos and
Rolando Salutin failed to file a motion to
reconsider the order of November 8, 1983
dismissing
the
complaint,
within
the
reglementary period. Plaintiffs claimed that the
motion to set aside the order of November 8,
1983
and
the
amplificatory
motion
for
reconsideration was filed for all the plaintiffs,
although signed by only some of the lawyers. llcd
In its resolution of September 21, 1984, the
respondent court dealt with both motions (1) to
reconsider its order of May 11, 1984 declaring
that with respect to certain plaintiffs, the
resolution of November 8, 1983 had already
become final, and (2) to set aside its resolution of
November 8, 1983 granting the defendants'

motion to dismiss. In the dispositive portion of the


order of September 21, 1984, the respondent
court resolved:
(1) That the motion to set aside the order of
finality, dated May 11, 1984, of the Resolution of
dismissal of the complaint of plaintiffs Rogelio
Aberca, Danilo de la Fuente, Marco Palo, Alan
Jasminez, Alex Marcelino, Elizabeth ProtacioMarcelino, Alfredo Mansos and Rolando Salutin is
denied for lack of merit;
(2) For lack of cause of action as against the
following defendants, to wit:
1. Gen Fabian Ver
2. Col. Fidel Singson
3. Col. Rolando Abadilla
4. Lt. Col. Conrado Lantoria, Jr.
5. Col. Galileo Kintanar
6. Col. Panfilo Lacson
7. Capt. Danilo Pizaro
8. 1Lt Pedro Tango
9. Lt. Romeo Ricardo

and liberties of another person shall be liable to


the latter for damages:
(1) Freedom of religion;
(2) Freedom of speech;
(3) Freedom to write for the press or to maintain a
periodical publication;
(4) Freedom from arbitrary or illegal detention;
(5) Freedom of suffrage;
(6) The right against deprivation of property
without due process of law;
(7) The right to a just compensation when private
property is taken for public use;
(8) The right to the equal protection of the laws;
(9) The right to be secure in one's person, house,
papers, and effects against unreasonable
searches and seizures;
(10) The liberty of abode and of changing the
same;
(11) The privacy
correspondence;

of

communication

and

10. Lt. Raul Bacalso

(12) The right


associations or
contrary to law;

the motion to set aside and reconsider the


Resolution of dismissal of the present action or
complaint, dated November 8, 1983, is also
denied; but in so far as it affects and refers to
defendants, to wit:

(13) The right to take part in a peaceable


assembly to petition the Government for redress
of grievances;

1. Major Rodolfo Aguinaldo, and


2. Master Sgt. Bienvenido Balaba,
the motion to reconsider and set aside the
Resolution of dismissal dated November 3, 1983
is granted and the Resolution of dismissal is, in
this respect, reconsidered and modified."
Hence, petitioners filed the instant petition for
certiorari on March 15, 1985 seeking to annul and
set aside the respondent court's resolution of
November 8, 1983, its order of May 11, 1984, and
its resolution dated September 21, 1984.
Respondents were required to comment on the
petition, which it did on November 9, 1985. A
reply was filed by petitioners on August 26, 1986.
We find the petition meritorious and decide to
give it due course.
At the heart of petitioners' complaint is Article 32
of the Civil Code which provides:
ARTICLE 32. Any public officer or employee, or
any private individual who directly or indirectly
obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner
impedes or impairs any of the following rights
4|HR_CHAPTER 6

to become a member of
societies for purposes not

(14) The right to be free from involuntary


servitude in any form;
(15) The right of the accused against excessive
bail;
(16) The right of the accused to be heard by
himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature
and cause of the accusation against him, to have
a speedy and public trial, to meet the witnesses
face to face, and to have compulsory process to
secure the attendance of witness in his behalf;
(17) Freedom from being compelled to be a
witness against one's self, or from being forced to
confess guilt, or from being induced by a promise
of immunity or reward to make such confession,
except when the person confessing becomes a
State witness;
(18) Freedom from excessive fines, or cruel and
unusual punishment, unless the same is imposed
or inflicted in accordance with a statute which
has not been judicially declared unconstitutional;
and
(19) Freedom of access to the courts. LLjur

In any of the cases referred to in this article,


whether or not the defendant's act or omission
constitutes a criminal offense, the aggrieved
party has a right to commence an entirely
separate and distinct civil action for damages,
and for other relief. Such civil action shall proceed
independently of any criminal prosecution (if the
latter be instituted), and may be proved by a
preponderance of evidence.
The indemnity shall include moral damages.
Exemplary damages may also be adjudicated.
The responsibility herein set forth is not
demandable from a judge unless his act or
omission constitutes a violation of the Penal Code
or other penal statute.

It is obvious that the purpose of the above codal


provision is to provide a sanction to the deeply
cherished rights and freedoms enshrined in the
Constitution. Its message is clear: no man may
seek to violate those sacred rights with impunity.
In times of great upheaval or of social and
political stress, when the temptation is strongest
to yield borrowing the words of Chief Justice
Claudio Teehankee to the law of force rather
than the force of law, it is necessary to remind
ourselves that certain basic rights and liberties
are immutable and cannot be sacrificed to the
transient needs or imperious demands of the
ruling power. The rule of law must prevail, or else
liberty will perish. Our commitment to democratic
principles and to the rule of law compels us to
reject the view which reduces law to nothing but
the expression of the will of the predominant
power in the community. "Democracy cannot be a
reign of progress, of liberty, of justice, unless the
law is respected by him who makes it and by him
for whom it is made. Now this respect implies a
maximum of faith, a minimum of idealism. On
going to the bottom of the matter, we discover
that life demands of us a certain residuum of
sentiment which is not derived from reason, but
which reason nevertheless controls." 2
Seeking to justify the dismissal of plaintiffs'
complaint, the respondents postulate the view
that as public officers they are covered by the
mantle of state immunity from suit for acts done
in the performance of official duties or functions.
In support of said contention, respondents
maintain that
"Respondents are members of the Armed Forces
of the Philippines. Their primary duty is to
safeguard public safety and order.
The
Constitution no less provides that the President
may call them "to prevent or supress lawless
violence, invasion, insurrection or rebellion, or
imminent danger thereof." (Constitution, Article
VII, Section 9).
On January 17, 1981, the President issued
proclamation No. 2045 lifting martial law but
providing for the continued suspension of the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in view of
5|HR_CHAPTER 6

the remaining dangers to the security of the


nation. The proclamation also provided "that the
call to the Armed Forces of the Philippines to
prevent
or
suppress
lawless
violence,
insurrection, rebellion and subversion shall
continue to be in force and effect."
Petitioners allege in their complaint that their
causes of action proceed from respondent
General Ver's order to Task Force Makabansa to
launch preemptive strikes against communist
terrorist underground houses in Metro Manila.
Petitioners claim that this order and its
subsequent implementation by elements of the
task force resulted in the violation of their
constitutional rights against unlawful searches,
seizures and arrest, rights to counsel and to
silence, and the right to property and that,
therefore, respondents Ver and the named
members of the task force should be held liable
for damages.
But, by launching a preemptive strike against
communist terrorists, respondent members of the
armed forces merely performed their official and
constitutional duties. To allow petitioners to
recover from respondents by way of damages for
acts performed in the exercise of such duties run
contrary to the policy considerations to shield
respondents as public officers from undue
interference with their duties and from potentially
disabling threats of liability (Aarlon v. Fitzgerald,
102 S. Ct. 2731; Forbes v. Chuoco Tiaco, 16 Phil.
534), and upon the necessity of protecting the
performance of governmental and public
functions from being harassed unduly or
constantly interrupted by private suits (McCallan
v. State, 35 Cal. App. 605; Metran v. Paredes, 79
Phil. 819). cdphil
xxx xxx xxx
The immunity of public officers from liability
arising from the performance of their duties is
now a settled jurisprudence (Alzua v. Johnson, 21
Phil. 308; Zulueta v. Nicolas, 102 Phil. 944;
Spalding v. Vilas, 161 US 483; 40 L. Ed. 738, 16 S.
Ct. 631; Barr v. Mateo, 360; Butz v. Economon,
438 US 478; 57 L. Ed. 2d 895, 98 S. Ct. 2894;
Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 US 232; Forbes v. Chuoco
Tiaco, supra; Miller v. de Leune, 602 F. 2d 198;
Sami v. US, 617 F. 2d 755).
Respondents-defendants who merely obeyed the
lawful orders of the President and his call for the
suppression of the rebellion involving petitioners
enjoy such immunity from suit." 3
We find respondents' invocation of the doctrine of
state immunity from suit totally misplaced. The
cases invoked by respondents actually involved
acts done by officers in the performance of
official duties within the ambit of their powers. As
held in Forbes, etc. vs. Chuoco Tiaco and
Crossfield: 4
"No one can be held legally responsible in
damages or otherwise for doing in a legal manner
what he had authority, under the law, to do.

Therefore, if the Governor-General had authority,


under the law to deport or expel the defendants,
and circumstances justifying the deportation and
the method of carrying it out are left to him, then
he cannot be held liable in damages for the
exercise of this power. Moreover, if the courts are
without authority to interfere in any manner, for
the purpose of controlling or interferring with the
exercise of the political powers vested in the chief
executive authority of the Government, then it
must follow that the courts cannot intervene for
the purpose of declaring that he is liable in
damages for the exercise of this authority."
It may be that the respondents, as members of
the Armed Forces of the Philippines, were merely
responding to their duty, as they claim, "to
prevent
or
suppress
lawless
violence,
insurrection, rebellion and subversion" in
accordance with proclamation No. 2054 of
President Marcos, despite the lifting of martial law
on January 27, 1981, and in pursuance of such
objective, to launch pre-emptive strikes against
alleged communist terrorist underground houses.
But this cannot be construed as a blanket license
or a roving commission untramelled by any
constitutional restraint, to disregard or transgress
upon the rights and liberties of the individual
citizen enshrined in and protected by the
Constitution. The Constitution remains the
supreme law of the land to which all officials, high
or low, civilian or military, owe obedience and
allegiance at all times.
Article 32 of the Civil Code which renders any
public officer or employee or any private
individual liable in damages for violating the
Constitutional rights and liberties of another, as
enumerated therein, does not exempt the
respondents from responsibility. Only judges are
excluded from liability under the said article,
provided their acts or omissions do not constitute
a violation of the Penal Code or other penal
statute.
This is not to say that military authorities are
restrained from pursuing their assigned task or
carrying out their mission with vigor. We have no
quarrel with their duty to protect the Republic
from its enemies, whether of the left or of the
right, or from within or without, seeking to
destroy or subvert our democratic institutions
and imperil their very existence. What we are
merely trying to say is that in carrying out this
task and mission, constitutional and legal
safeguards must be observed, otherwise, the
very fabric of our faith will start to unravel. In the
battle of competing ideologies, the struggle for
the mind is just as vital as the struggle of arms.
The linchpin in that psychological struggle is faith
in the rule of law. Once that faith is lost or
compromised, the struggle may well be
abandoned.
We do not find merit in respondents' suggestion
that plaintiffs' cause of action is barred by the
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus. Respondents contend that "Petitioners
cannot circumvent the suspension of the privilege
6|HR_CHAPTER 6

of the writ by resorting to a damage suit aimed at


the same purpose - a judicial inquiry into the
alleged illegality of their detention. While the
main relief they ask by the present action is
indemnification for alleged damages they
suffered, their causes of action are inextricably
based on the same claim of violations of their
constitutional rights that they invoked in the
habeas corpus case as grounds for release from
detention. Were the petitioners allowed the
present suit, the judicial inquiry barred by the
suspension of the privilege of the writ will take
place. The net result is that what the courts
cannot do, i.e. override the suspension ordered
by the President, petitioners will be able to do by
the mere expedient of altering the title of their
action."
We do not agree. We find merit in petitioners'
contention that the suspension of the privilege of
the writ of habeas corpus does not destroy
petitioners' right and cause of action for damages
for illegal arrest and detention and other
violations of their constitutional rights. The
suspension does not render valid an otherwise
illegal arrest or detention. What is suspended is
merely the right of the individual to seek release
from detention through the writ of habeas corpus
as a speedy means of obtaining his liberty. LibLex
Moreover, as pointed out by petitioners, their
right and cause of action for damages are
explicitly recognized in P.D. No. 1755 which
amended Article 1146 of the Civil Code by adding
the following to its text:
"However, when the action (for injury to the
rights of the plaintiff or for a quasi-delict) arises
from or out of any act, activity or conduct of any
public officer involving the exercise of powers or
authority arising from Martial Law including the
arrest, detention and/or trial of the plaintiff, the
same must be brought within one (1) year."
Petitioners have a point in contending that even
assuming that the suspension of the privilege of
the writ of habeas corpus suspends petitioners'
right of action for damages for illegal arrest and
detention, it does not and cannot suspend their
rights and causes of action for injuries suffered
because of respondents' confiscation of their
private belongings, the violation of their right to
remain silent and to counsel and their right to
protection against unreasonable searches and
seizures and against torture and other cruel and
inhuman treatment.

However, we find it unnecessary to address the


constitutional issue pressed upon us. On March
25, 1986, President Corazon C. Aquino issued
proclamation No. 2, revoking Proclamation Nos.
2045 and 2045-A and lifting the suspension of the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. The
question therefore has become moot and
academic.

This brings us to the crucial issue raised in this


petition. May a superior officer under the notion
of respondeat superior be answerable for
damages, jointly and severally with his
subordinates, to the person whose constitutional
rights and liberties have been violated?
Respondents contend that the doctrine of
respondeat superior is inapplicable to the case.
We agree. The doctrine of respondeat superior
has been generally limited in its application to
principal and agent or to master and servant (i.e.
employer and employee) relationship. No such
relationship exists between superior officers of
the military and their subordinates.
Be that as it may, however, the decisive factor in
this case, in our view, is the language of Article
32. The law speaks of an officer or employee or
person "directly" or "indirectly" responsible for
the violation of the constitutional rights and
liberties of another. Thus, it is not the actor alone
(i.e. the one directly responsible) who must
answer for damages under Article 32; the person
indirectly responsible has also to answer for the
damages or injury caused to the aggrieved party.
By this provision, the principle of accountability of
public officials under the Constitution 5 acquires
added meaning and assumes a larger dimension.
No longer may a superior official relax his
vigilance or abdicate his duty to supervise his
subordinates, secure in the thought that he does
not have to answer for the transgressions
committed
by
the
latter
against
the
constitutionally protected rights and liberties of
the citizen. Part of the factors that propelled
people power in February 1986 was the widely
held perception that the government was callous
or indifferent to, if not actually responsible for,
the rampant violations of human rights. While it
would certainly be too naive to expect that
violators of human rights would easily be
deterred by the prospect of facing damage suits,
it should nonetheless be made clear in no
uncertain terms that Article 32 of the Civil Code
makes the persons who are directly, as well as
indirectly, responsible for the transgression joint
tortfeasors.
In the case at bar, the trial court dropped
defendants General Fabian Ver, Col. Fidel Singson,
Col. Rolando Abadilla, Col. Gerardo Lantoria, Jr.,
Col. Galileo Kintanar, Col. Panfilo Lacson, Capt.
Danilo Pizarro, 1st Lt. Pedro Tango, Lt. Romeo
Ricardo and Lt. Ricardo Bacalso from the
complaint on the assumption that under the law,
they cannot be held responsible for the wrongful
acts of their subordinates. Only Major Rodolfo
Aguinaldo and Master Sgt. Bienvenido Balaba
were kept as defendants on the ground that they
alone "have been specifically mentioned and
identified to have allegedly caused injuries on the
persons of some of the plaintiffs, which acts of
alleged physical violence constitute a delict or
wrong that gave rise to a cause of action." But
such finding is not supported by the record, nor is
it in accord with law and jurisprudence.
7|HR_CHAPTER 6

Firstly, it is wrong to limit the plaintiffs' action for


damages to "acts of alleged physical violence"
which constituted delict or wrong. Article 32
clearly specifies as actionable the act of violating
or in any manner impeding or impairing any of
the constitutional rights and liberties enumerated
therein, among others
1. Freedom
detention;

from

arbitrary

arrest

or

illegal

2. The right against deprivation of property


without due process of law;
3. The right to be secure in one's person, house,
papers
and
effects
against
unreasonable
searches and seizures;
4.
The
privacy
correspondence;

of

communication

and

5. Freedom from being compelled to be a witness


against one's self, or from being forced to confess
guilt, or from being induced by a promise of
immunity or reward to make a confession, except
when the person confessing becomes a state
witness. LLphil
The complaint in this litigation alleges facts
showing with abundant clarity and details, how
plaintiffs' constitutional rights and liberties
mentioned in Article 32 of the Civil Code were
violated and impaired by defendants. The
complaint speaks of, among others, searches
made without search warrants or based on
irregularly issued or substantially defective
warrants; seizures and confiscation, without
proper receipts, of cash and personal effects
belonging to plaintiffs and other items of property
which were not subversive and illegal nor covered
by the search warrants; arrest and detention of
plaintiffs without warrant or under irregular,
improper and illegal circumstances; detention of
plaintiffs at several undisclosed places of
"safehouses"
where
they
were
kept
incommunicado and subjected to physical and
psychological torture and other inhuman,
degrading and brutal treatment for the purpose
of extracting incriminatory statements. The
complaint contains a detailed recital of abuses
perpetrated upon the plaintiffs violative of their
constitutional rights.
Secondly, neither can it be said that only those
shown to have participated "directly" should be
held liable. Article 32 of the Civil Code
encompasses within the ambit of its provisions
those directly, as well as indirectly, responsible
for its violation.
The responsibility of the defendants, whether
direct or indirect, is amply set forth in the
complaint. It is well established in our law and
jurisprudence that a motion to dismiss on the
ground that the complaint states no cause of
action must be based on what appears on the
face of the complaint. 6 To determine the
sufficiency of the cause of action, only the facts
alleged in the complaint, and no others, should

be considered. 7 For this purpose, the motion to


dismiss must hypothetically admit the truth of the
facts alleged in the complaint. 8

whose lawyers did not sign the motion for


reconsideration. Such action tainted with legal
infirmity cannot be sanctioned. cdphil

Applying this test, it is difficult to justify the trial


court's ruling, dismissing for lack of cause of
action the complaint against all defendants,
except Major Rodolfo Aguinaldo and Master Sgt.
Bienvenido Balaba. The complaint contained
allegations against all the defendants which, if
admitted hypothetically, would be sufficient to
establish a cause or causes of action against all
of them under Article 32 of the Civil Code.

Accordingly, we grant the petition and annul and


set aside the resolution of the respondent court,
dated November 8, 1983, its order dated May 11,
1984 and its resolution dated September 21,
1984. Let the case be remanded to the
respondent court for further proceedings. With
Costs against private respondents.

This brings us to the last issue. Was the trial court


correct in dismissing the complaint with respect
to plaintiffs Rogelio Aberca, Danilo de la Fuente,
Marco Palo, Alan Jazminez, Alex Marcelino,
Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino, Alfredo Mansos and
Rolando Salutin, on the basis of the alleged
failure of said plaintiffs to file a motion for
reconsideration of the court's resolution of
November 8, 1983, granting the respondent's
motion to dismiss?

Fernan, Narvasa, Melencio-Herrera, Cruz, Paras,


Feliciano, Gancayco, Bidin, Sarmiento, Cortes and
Grio-Aquino, JJ., concur.

It is undisputed that a timely motion to set aside


said order of November 8, 1983 was filed by
"plaintiffs, through counsel." True, the motion was
signed only by Atty. Joker P. Arroyo, counsel for
Benjamin Sesgundo; Atty. Antonio Rosales,
counsel for Edwin Lopez and Manuel Martin
Guzman; Atty. Pedro B. Ella, Jr., counsel for Nestor
Bodino and Carlos Palma; Atty. Arno V. Sanidad,
counsel for Arturo Tabara; Atty. Felicitas S.
Aquino, counsel for Joseph Olayer; and Atty.
Alexander Padilla, counsel for Rodolfo Benosa.

(Republic v. Sandoval, G.R. No. 84607,


84645, March 19, 1993)

But the body of the motion itself clearly indicated


that the motion was filed on behalf of all the
plaintiffs. And this must have been also the
understanding of defendants' counsel himself for
when he filed his comment on the motion, he
furnished copies thereof, not just to the lawyers
who signed the motion, but to all the lawyers of
plaintiffs, to wit: Attys. Jose W. Diokno, Procopio
Beltran, Rene Sarmiento, Efren Mercado, Augusto
Sanchez, Antonio Rosales, Pedro Ella, Jr., Arno
Sanidad, Alexander Padilla, Joker Arroyo, Rene
Saguisag, Ramon Esguerra and Felicitas S.
Aquino.
In filing the motion to set aside the resolution of
November 8, 1983, the signing attorneys did so
on behalf of all the plaintiffs. They needed no
specific authority to do that. The authority of an
attorney to appear for and in behalf of a party
can be assumed, unless questioned or challenged
by the adverse party or the party concerned,
which was never done in this case. Thus, it was
grave abuse on the part of respondent judge to
take it upon himself to rule that the motion to set
aside the order of November 8, 1953 dismissing
the complaint was filed only by some of the
plaintiffs, when by its very language it was clearly
intended to be filed by and for the benefit of all of
them. It is obvious that the respondent judge took
umbrage under a contrived technicality to declare
that the dismissal of the complaint had already
become final with respect to some of the plaintiffs
8|HR_CHAPTER 6

SO ORDERED.

Teehankee, C.J., concurs with a separate opinion.


Gutierrez, Jr., J., in the result.
Padilla, J., took no part; related to counsel for
Rodolfo Benosa.

BANC
[G.R. No. 84607. March 19, 1993.]
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, GEN. RAMON
MONTANO, GEN. ALFREDO LIM, GEN. ALEXANDER
AGUIRRE, COL. EDGAR DULA TORRES, COL.
CEZAR NAZARENO, MAJ. FILEMON GASMEN, PAT.
NICANOR ABANDO, PFC SERAPIN CEBU, JR., GEN.
BRIGIDO PAREDES, COL. ROGELIO MONFORTE,
PFC ANTONIO LUCERO, PAT. JOSE MENDIOLA, PAT.
NELSON TUAZON, POLICE CORPORAL PANFILO
ROGOS, POLICE LT. JUAN B. BELTRAN, PAT. NOEL
MANAGBAO, MARINE THIRD CLASS TRAINEE (3CT)
NOLITO NOGATO, 3CT ALEJANDRO B. NAGUIO, JR.,
EFREN ARCILLAS, 3CT AGERICO LUNA, 3CT
BASILIO BORJA, 3CT MANOLITO LUSPO, 3CT
CRISTITUTO GERVACIO, 3CT MANUEL DELA CRUZ,
JR., MARINE (CDC) BN., (CIVIL DISTURBANCE
CONTROL), MOBILE DISPERSAL TEAM (MDT), LT.
ROMEO PAQUINTO, LT. LAONGLAANG GOCE, MAJ.
DEMETRIO DE LA CRUZ, POLICE CAPTAIN
RODOLFO NAVAL, JOHN DOE, RICHARD DOE,
ROBERTO DOE AND OTHER DOES, petitioners, vs.
HON. EDILBERTO G. SANDOVAL, Regional Trial
Court of Manila, Branch IX, ERLINDA C. CAYLAO,
ANATALIA ANGELES PEREZ, MYRNA BAUTISTA,
CIPRIANA EVANGELIO, ELMA GRAMPA, AMELIA
GUTIERREZ, NEMESIO LAKINDANUM, PURITA
YUMUL, MIGUEL ARABE, TERESITA ARJONA,
RONALDO CAMPOMANES AND CARMENCITA
ARDONI VDA. DE CAMPOMANES, ROGELIO
DOMUNICO, in their capacity as heirs of the
deceased (ROBERTO C. CAYLAO, SONNY "BOY"
PEREZ, DIONESIO BAUTISTA, DANTE EVANGELIO,
ADELFA ARIBE, DANILO ARJONA, VICENTE
CAMPOMANES, RONILO DOMUNICO) respectively;
and (names of sixty-two injured victims) EDDIE
AGUINALDO, FELICISIMO ALBASIA, NAPOLEON
BAUTISTA, DANILO CRUZ, EDDIE MENSOLA,
ALBERT PITALBO, VICENTE ROSEL, RUBEN

CARRIEDO, JOY CRUZ, HONORIO LABAMBA, JR.,


EFREN MACARAIG, SOLOMON MANALOTO, ROMEO
DURAN, NILO TAGUBAT, JUN CARSELLAR, JOEY
CLEMENTE, GERARDO COYOCA, LUISITO DACO,
BENJAMIN DELA CRUZ, ARTHUR FONTANILLA,
WILSON GARCIA, CARLOS SIRAY, JOSE PERRAS,
TOMAS VALLOS, ARNOLD ENAJE, MARIANITA
DIMAPILIS, FRANCISCO ANGELES, MARCELO
ESGUERRA, JOSE FERRER, RODEL DE GUIA, ELVIS
MENDOZA, VICTORINO QUIJANO, JOEY ADIME,
RESIENO ADUL, ALBERTO TARSONA, CARLOS
ALCANTARA,
MAMERTO
ALIAS,
EMELITO
ALMONTE, BENILDA ALONUEVO, EMMA ABADILLO,
REYNALDO CABALLES, JR., JAIME CALDETO,
FABIAN
CANTELEJO,
RODRIGO
CARABARA,
ENRIQUE DELGADO, JUN DELOS SANTOS, MARIO
DEMASACA, FRANCISCO GONZALES, ERNESTO
GONZALES, RAMIRO JAMIL, JUAN LUCENA,
PERLITO SALAYSAY, JOHNNY SANTOS, MARCELO
SANTOS, EMIL SAYAO, BAYANI UMALI, REMIGIO
MAHALIN, BONG MANLULO, ARMANDO MATIENZO,
CARLO MEDINA, LITO NOVENARIO, and ROSELLA
ROBALE, respondents.
[G.R. No. 84645. March 19, 1993.]
ERLINDA C. CAYLAO, ANATALIA ANGELES PEREZ,
MYRNA BAUTISTA, CIPRIANA EVANGELIO, ELMA
GRAMPA,
AMELIA
GUTIERREZ,
NEMESIO
LAKINDANUM, PURITA YUMUL, MIGUEL ARABE,
TERESITA ARJONA, RONALDO CAMPOMANES AND
CARMENCITA ARDONI VDA. DE CAMPOMANES,
ROGELIO DOMUNICO, in their capacity as heirs of
the deceased (ROBERTO C. CAYLAO, SONNY
"BOY" PEREZ, DIONESIO BAUTISTA, DANTE
EVANGELIO,
RODRIGO
GRAMPA,
ANGELITO
GUTIERREZ, BERNABE LAKINDANUM, ROBERTO
YUMUL, LEOPOLDO ALONZO, ADELFA ARIBE,
DANILO ARJONA, VICENTE CAMPOMANES, RONILO
DOMUNICO) respectively; and (names of sixty-two
injured victims) EDDIE AGUINALDO, FELICISIMO
ALBASIA, NAPOLEON BAUTISTA, DANILO CRUZ,
EDDIE MENSOLA, ALBERT PITALBO, VICENTE
ROSEL, RUBEN CARRIEDO, JOY CRUZ, HONORIO
LABAMBA, JR. EFREN MACARAIG, SOLOMON
MANALOTO, ROMEO DURAN, NILO TAGUBAT, JUN
CARSELLAR, JOEY CLEMENTE, GERARDO COYOCA,
LUISITO DACO, BENJAMIN DELA CRUZ, ARTHUR
FONTANILLA, WILSON GARCIA, CARLOS SIRAY,
JOSE PERRAS, TOMAS VALLOS, ARNOLD ENAJE,
MARIANITA DIMAPILIS, FRANCISCO ANGELES,
MARCELO ESGUERRA, JOSE FERRER, RODEL DE
GUIA, ELVIS MENDOZA, VICTORINO QUIJANO, JOEY
ADIME, RESIENO ADUL, ALBERTO TARSONA,
CARLOS ALCANTARA, MAMERTO ALIAS, EMELITO
ALMONTE, BENILDA ALONUEVO, EMMA ABADILLO,
REYNALDO CABALLES, JR., JAIME CALDETO,
FABIAN
CANTELEJO,
RODRIGO
CARABARA,
ENRIQUE DELGADO, JUN DELOS SANTOS, MARIO
DEMASACA, FRANCISCO GONZALES, ERNESTO
GONZALES, RAMIRO JAMIL, JUAN LUCENA,
PERLITO SALAYSAY, JOHNNY SANTOS, MARCELO
SANTOS, EMIL SAYAO, BAYANI UMALI, REMIGIO
MAHALIN, BONG MANLULO, ARMANDO MATIENZO,
CARLO MEDINA, LITO NOVENARIO, ROSELLA
ROBALE, petitioners, vs. REPUBLIC OF THE
PHILIPPINES, and HONORABLE EDILBERTO G.
SANDOVAL, Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch
9, respondents.
9|HR_CHAPTER 6

SYLLABUS
1. POLITICAL LAW; PRINCIPLE OF STATE'S
IMMUNITY FROM SUIT; CONSTRUED. Under our
Constitution the principle of immunity of the
government from suit is expressly provided in
Article XVI, Section 3. The principle is based on
the very essence of sovereignty, and on the
practical ground that there can be no legal right
as against the authority that makes the law on
which the right depends. It also rests on reasons
of public policy that public service would be
hindered, and the public endangered, if the
sovereign authority could be subjected to law
suits at the instance of every citizen and
consequently controlled in the uses and
dispositions of the means required for the proper
administration of the government.
2. ID.; ID.; NOT DEEMED WAIVED WHEN THE
GOVERNMENT
AUTHORIZES
THE
INDEMNIFICATION FOR THE VICTIM OR THROUGH
PUBLIC ADDRESSES MADE BY THE PRESIDENT.
Petitioners (Caylao group) advance the argument
that the State has impliedly waived its sovereign
immunity from suit. It is their considered view
that by the recommendation made by the
Commission for the government to indemnity the
heirs and victims of the Mendiola incident and by
the public addresses made by then President
Aquino in the aftermath of the killings, the State
has consented to be sued. This is not a suit
against the State with its consent. Firstly, the
recommendation made by the Commission
regarding indemnification of the heirs of the
deceased and the victims of the incident by the
government does not in any way mean that
liability automatically attaches to the State. It is
important to note that A.O. 11 expressly states
that the purpose of creating the Commission was
to have a body that will conduct an "investigation
of the disorder, deaths and casualties that took
place." In the exercise of its functions, A.O. 11
provides guidelines, and what is relevant to Our
discussion reads: "1. Its conclusions regarding the
existence of probable cause for the commission
of any offense and of the persons probably guilty
of the same shall be sufficient compliance with
the rules on preliminary investigation and the
charges arising therefrom may be filed directly
with the proper court." In effect, whatever may
be the findings of the Commission, the same shall
only serve as the cause of action in the event
that any party decides to litigate his/her claim.
Therefore, the Commission is merely a
preliminary venue. The Commission is not the
end in itself. Whatever recommendation it makes
cannot in any way bind the State immediately,
such recommendation not having become final
and executory. This is precisely the essence of it
being a fact-finding body. Secondly, whatever
acts or utterances that then President Aquino
may have done or said, the same are not
tantamount to the State having waived its
immunity from suit. The President's act of joining
the marchers, days after the incident, does not
mean that there was an admission by the State of
any liability. In fact to borrow the words of

petitioners (Caylao group), "it was an act of


solidarity by the government with the people."
Moreover, petitioners rely on President Aquino's
speech promising that the government would
address the grievances of the rallyists. By this
alone, it cannot be inferred that the State has
admitted any liability, much less can it be
inferred that it has consented to the suit.
3. ID.; ID.; WHEN AVAILABLE; RULE; CASE AT BAR.
Some instances when a suit against the State
is proper are" (1) When the Republic is sued by
name; (2) When the suit is against an
unincorporated government agency; (3) When
the suit is on its face against a government
officer but the case is such that ultimate liability
will belong not to the officer but to the
government. While the Republic in this case is
sued by name, the ultimate liability does not
pertain to the government. Although the military
officers and personnel, then party defendants,
were discharging their official functions when the
incident occurred, their functions ceased to be
official the moment they exceeded their authority.
Based on the Commission findings, there was lack
of justification by the government forces in the
use of firearms. Moreover, the members of the
police and military crowd dispersal units
committed a prohibited act under B.P. Blg. 880 as
there was unnecessary firing by them in
dispersing the marchers.
4.
ID.;
ID.;
CANNOT
INSTITUTIONALIZE
IRRESPONSIBILITY AND NON-ACCOUNTABILITY
NOR GRANT A PRIVILEGE STATUS NOT CLAIMED
BY ANY OTHER OFFICIAL OF THE REPUBLIC. As
early as 1954, this Court has pronounced that an
officer cannot shelter himself by the plea that he
is a public agent acting under the color of his
office when his acts are wholly without authority.
Until recently in 1991, this doctrine still found
application, this Court saying that immunity from
suit cannot institutionalize irresponsibility and
non-accountability nor grant a privileged status
not claimed by any other official of the Republic.
The military and police forces were deployed to
ensure that the rally would be peaceful and
orderly as well as to guarantee the safety of the
very people that they are duty-bound to protect.
However, the facts as found by the trial court
showed that they fired at the unruly crowd to
disperse the latter.
5. ID.; ID.; DOES NOT APPLY WHEN THE RELIEF
DEMANDED BY THE SUIT REQUIRES NO
AFFIRMATIVE OFFICIAL ACTION ON THE PART OF
THE STATE NOR THE AFFIRMATIVE DISCHARGE OF
ANY OBLIGATION WHICH BELONGS TO THE STATE
IN ITS POLITICAL CAPACITY. While it is true that
nothing is better settled than the general rule
that a sovereign state and its political
subdivisions cannot be sued in the courts except
when it has given its consent, it cannot be
invoked by both the military officers to release
them from any liability, and by the heirs and
victims to demand indemnification from the
government. The principle of state immunity from
suit does not apply, as in this case, when the
relief demanded by the suit requires no
10 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

affirmative official action on the part of the State


nor the affirmative discharge of any obligation
which belongs to the State in its political
capacity, even though the officers or agents who
are made defendants claim to hold or act only by
virtue of a title of the state and as its agents and
servants. This Court has made it quite clear that
even a "high position in the government does not
confer a license to persecute or recklessly injure
another."

DECISION
CAMPOS, JR., J p:
People may have already forgotten the tragedy
that transpired on January 22, 1987. It is quite
ironic that then, some journalists called it a Black
Thursday, as a grim reminder to the nation of the
misfortune that befell twelve (12) rallyists. But for
most Filipinos now, the Mendiola massacre may
now just as well be a chapter in our history books.
For those however, who have become widows
and orphans, certainly they would not settle for
just that. They seek retribution for the lives taken
that will never be brought back to life again. LLjur
Hence, the heirs of the deceased, together with
those injured(Caylao group), instituted this
petition, docketed as G.R. No. 84645, under
Section 1 of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, seeking
the reversal and setting aside of the Orders of
respondent Judge Sandoval, 1 dated May 31 and
August 8, 1988, dismissing the complaint for
damages of herein petitioners against the
Republic of the Philippines in Civil Case. No. 8843351.
Petitioner, the Republic of the Philippines, through
a similar remedy, docketed as G.R. No. 84607,
seeks to set aside the Order of respondent Judge
dated May 31, 1988, in Civil Case No. 88-43351
entitled "Erlinda Caylao, et al. vs. Republic of the
Philippines, et al."
The pertinent portion of the questioned Order 2
dated May 31, 1988, reads as follows:
"With respect however to the other defendants,
the impleaded Military Officers, since they are
being charged in their personal and official
capacity, and holding them liable, if at all, would
not result in financial responsibility of the
government, the principle of immunity from suit
can not conveniently and correspondingly be
applied to them.
WHEREFORE, the case as against the defendant
Republic of the Philippines is hereby dismissed.
As against the rest of the defendants the motion
to dismiss is denied. They are given a period of
ten (10) days from receipt of this order within
which to file their respective pleadings."
On the other hand, the Order 3 , dated August 8,
1988, denied the motions filed by both parties,
for a reconsideration of the abovecited Order,

respondent Judge finding no cogent reason to


disturb the said order.
The massacre was the culmination of eight days
and seven nights of encampment by members of
the militant Kilusang Magbubukid sa Pilipinas
(KMP) at the then Ministry (now Department) of
Agrarian Reform (MAR) at the Philippine Tobacco
Administration Building along Elliptical Road in
Diliman, Quezon City.
The farmers and their sympathizers presented
their demands for what they called "genuine
agrarian reform". The KMP, led by its national
president, Jaime Tadeo, presented their problems
and demands, among which were: (a) giving
lands for free to farmers; (b) zero retention of
lands by landlords; and (c) stop amortizations of
land payments.
The dialogue between the farmers and the MAR
officials began on January 15, 1987. The two days
that followed saw a marked increase in people at
the encampment. It was only on January 19, 1987
that Jaime Tadeo arrived to meet with then
Minister Heherson Alvarez, only to be informed
that the Minister can only meet with him the
following day. On January 20, 1987, the meeting
was held at the MAR conference room. Tadeo
demanded that the minimum comprehensive land
reform program be granted immediately. Minister
Alvarez, for his part, can only promise to do his
best to bring the matter to the attention of then
President Aquino, during the cabinet meeting on
January 21, 1987.
Tension mounted the following day. The farmers,
now on their seventh day of encampment,
barricaded the MAR premises and prevented the
employees from going inside their offices. They
hoisted the KMP flag together with the Philippine
flag.
At around 6:30 p.m. of the same day, Minister
Alvarez, in a meeting with Tadeo and his leaders,
advised the latter to instead wait for the
ratification of the 1987 Constitution and just allow
the government to implement its comprehensive
land reform program. Tadeo, however, countered
by saying that he did not believe in the
Constitution and that a genuine land reform
cannot be realized under a landlord-controlled
Congress. A heated discussion ensued between
Tadeo and Minister Alvarez. This notwithstanding,
Minister Alvarez suggested a negotiating panel
from each side to meet again the following day.
On January 22, 1987, Tadeo's group instead
decided to march to Malacaang to air their
demands. Before the march started, Tadeo talked
to the press and TV media. He uttered fiery
words, the most telling of which were: ". . . inalis
namin ang barikada bilang kahilingan ng ating
Presidente, pero kinakailangan alisin din niya ang
barikada sa Mendiola sapagkat bubutasin din
namin iyon at dadanak ang dugo . . ." 4
The farmers then proceeded to march to
Malacaang, from Quezon Memorial Circle, at
11 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

10:00 a.m. They were later joined by members of


other sectoral organizations such as the Kilusang
Mayo Uno (KMU), Bagong Alyansang Makabayan
(BAYAN), League of Filipino Students (LFS) and
Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod
(KPML).
At around 1:00 p.m., the marchers reached
Liwasang Bonifacio where they held a brief
program. It was at this point that some of the
marchers entered the eastern side of the Post
Office Building, and removed the steel bars
surrounding the garden. Thereafter, they joined
the march to Malacaang. At about 4:30 p.m.,
they reached C.M. Recto Avenue.
In anticipation of a civil disturbance, and acting
upon reports received by the Capital Regional
Command (CAPCOM) that the rallyists would
proceed to Mendiola to break through the police
lines and rush towards Malacaang, CAPCOM
Commander
General
Ramon
E.
Montao
inspected the preparations and adequacy of the
government forces to quell impending attacks.
OPLAN YELLOW (Revised) was put into effect.
Task Force Nazareno under the command of Col.
Cesar Nazareno was deployed at the vicinity of
Malacaang. The civil disturbance control units of
the Western Police District under Police Brigadier
General Alfredo S. Lim were also activated.
Intelligence reports were also received that the
KMP was heavily infiltrated by CPP/NPA elements
and that an insurrection was impending. The
threat seemed grave as there were also reports
that San Beda College and Centro Escolar
University would be forcibly occupied.
In its report, the Citizens' Mendiola Commission (a
body specifically tasked to investigate the facts
surrounding the incident, Commission for short)
stated that the government anti-riot forces were
assembled at Mendiola in a formation of three
phalanges, in the following manner:
"(1) The first line was composed of policemen
from police stations Nos. 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10
and the Chinatown detachment of the Western
Police District. Police Colonel Edgar Dula Torres,
Deputy Superintendent of the Western Police
District, was designated as ground commander of
the CDC first line of defense. The WPD CDC
elements were positioned at the intersection of
Mendiola and Legarda Streets after they were
ordered to move forward from the top of Mendiola
bridge. The WPD forces were in khaki uniform and
carried the standard CDC equipment aluminum
shields, truncheons and gas masks.
(2) At the second line of defense about ten (10)
yards behind the WPD policemen were the
elements of the Integrated National Police (INP)
Field Force stationed at Fort Bonifacio from the
61st and 62nd INP Field Force, who carried also
the standard CDC equipment truncheons,
shields and gas masks. The INP Field Force was
under the command of Police Major Demetrio
dela Cruz.

(3) Forming the third line was the Marine Civil


Disturbance Control Battalion composed of the
first and second companies of the Philippine
Marines stationed at Fort Bonifacio. The marines
were all equipped with shields, truncheons and M16 rifles (armalites) slung at their backs, under
the command of Major Felimon B. Gasmin. The
Marine CDC Battalion was positioned in line
formation ten (10) yards farther behind the INP
Field Force.
At the back of the marines were four (4) 6 x 6
army trucks, occupying the entire width of
Mendiola street, followed immediately by two
water cannons, one on each side of the street and
eight fire trucks, four trucks on each side of the
street. The eight fire trucks from Fire District I of
Manila under Fire Superintendent Mario C.
Tanchanco, were to supply water to the two water
cannons.
Stationed farther behind the CDC forces were the
two Mobile Dispersal Teams (MDT) each
composed of two tear gas grenadiers, two
spotters, an assistant grenadier, a driver and the
team leader.
In front of the College of the Holy Spirit near Gate
4 of Malacaang stood the VOLVO Mobile
Communications Van of the Commanding General
of CAPCOM/INP, General Ramon E. Montao. At
this command post, after General Montao had
conferred with TF Nazareno Commander, Colonel
Cezar Nazareno, about the adequacy and
readiness of his forces, it was agreed that Police
General Alfredo S. Lim would designate Police
Colonel Edgar Dula Torres and Police Major
Conrado Francisco as negotiators with the
marchers. Police General Lim then proceeded to
the WPD CDC elements already positioned at the
foot of Mendiola bridge to relay to Police Colonel
Torres and Police Major Francisco the instructions
that the latter would negotiate with the
marchers." 5 (Emphasis supplied)
The marchers, at around 4:30 p.m., numbered
about 10,000 to 15,000. From C.M. Recto Avenue,
they proceeded toward the police lines. No
dialogue took place between the marchers and
the anti-riot squad. It was at this moment that a
clash occurred and, borrowing the words of the
Commission "pandemonium broke loose". The
Commission stated in its findings, to wit:
". . . There was an explosion followed by throwing
of pillboxes, stones and bottles. Steel bars,
wooden clubs and lead pipes were used against
the police. The police fought back with their
shields and truncheons. The police line was
breached. Suddenly shots were heard. The
demonstrators disengaged from the government
forces and retreated towards C.M. Recto Avenue.
But
sporadic
firing
continued
from
the
government forces.

12 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

After the firing ceased, two MDTs headed by Lt.


Romeo Paguinto and Lt. Laonglaan Goce sped
towards Legarda Street and lobbed tear gas at
the remaining rallyist still grouped in the vicinity
of Mendiola. After dispersing the crowd, the two
MDTs, together with the two WPD MDTs,
proceeded to Liwasang Bonifacio upon order of
General Montao to disperse the rallyists
assembled thereat. Assisting the MDTs were a
number of policemen from the WPD, attired in
civilian clothes with white head bands, who were
armed with long firearms." 6 (Emphasis ours)
After the clash, twelve (12) marchers were
officially confirmed dead, although according to
Tadeo, there were thirteen (13) dead, but he was
not able to give the name and address of said
victim. Thirty-nine (39) were wounded by
gunshots and twelve (12) sustained minor
injuries, all belonging to the group of the
marchers.
Of the police and military personnel, three (3)
sustained gunshot wounds and twenty (20)
suffered minor physical injuries such as
abrasions, contusions and the like.
In the aftermath of the confrontation, then
President
Corazon
C.
Aquino
issued
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 11, 7 (A.O. 11, for
brevity) dated January 22, 1987, which created
the Citizens' Mendiola Commission. The body was
composed of retired Supreme Court Justice
Vicente Abad Santos as Chairman, retired
Supreme Court Justice Jose Y. Feria and Mr.
Antonio U. Miranda, both as members. A.O. 11
stated that the Commission was created precisely
for the "purpose of conducting an investigation of
the disorder, deaths, and casualties that took
place in the vicinity of Mendiola Bridge and
Mendiola Street and Claro M. Recto Avenue,
Manila, in the afternoon of January 22, 1987". The
Commission was expected to have submitted its
findings not later than February 6, 1987. But it
failed to do so. Consequently, the deadline was
moved to February 16, 1987 by Administrative
Order No. 13. Again, the Commission was unable
to meet this deadline. Finally, on February 27,
1987, it submitted its report, in accordance with
Administrative Order No. 17, issued on February
11, 1987.
In its report, the Commission recapitulated its
findings, to wit:
"(1) The march to Mendiola of the KMP led by
Jaime Tadeo, together with the other sectoral
groups, was not covered by any permit as
required under Batas Pambansa Blg. 880, the
Public Assembly Act of 1985, in violation of
paragraph (a) Section 13, punishable under
paragraph (a), Section 14 of said law.
(2) The crowd dispersal control units of the police
and the military were armed with .38 and .45
caliber handguns, and M-16 armalites, which is a
prohibited act under paragraph 4(g), Section 13,
and punishable under paragraph (b), Section 14
of Batas Pambansa Blg. 880.

(3) The security men assigned to protect the


WPD, INP Field Force, the Marines and supporting
military units, as well as the security officers of
the police and military commanders were in
civilian attire in violation of paragraph (a), Section
10, Batas Pambansa 880.
(4) There was unnecessary firing by the police
and military crowd dispersal control units in
dispersing the marchers, a prohibited act under
paragraph (e), Section 13, and punishable under
paragraph (b), Section 14, Batas Pambansa Blg.
880.
(5) The carrying and use of steel bars, pillboxes,
darts, lead pipe, wooden clubs with spikes, and
guns by the marchers as offensive weapons are
prohibited acts punishable under paragraph (g),
Section 13, and punishable under paragraph (e),
Section 14 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 880.
(6) The KMP farmers broke off further
negotiations with the MAR officials and were
determined to march to Malacaang, emboldened
as they are, by the inflammatory and incendiary
utterances of their leader, Jaime Tadeo
"bubutasin namin ang barikada. Dadanak and
dugo . . . Ang nagugutom na magsasaka ay
gagawa ng sariling butas . . ."
(7) There was no dialogue between the rallyists
and the government forces. Upon approaching
the intersections of Legarda and Mendiola, the
marchers began pushing the police lines and
penetrated and broke through the first line of the
CDC contingent.
(8) The police fought back with their truncheons
and shields. They stood their ground but the CDC
line was breached. There ensued gunfire from
both sides. It is not clear who started the firing.
(9) At the onset of the disturbance and violence,
the water cannons and tear gas were not put into
effective use to disperse the rioting crowd.
(10) The water cannons and fire trucks were not
put into operation because (a) there was no order
to use them; (b) they were incorrectly
prepositioned; and (c) they were out of range of
the marchers.
(11) Tear gas was not used at the start of the
disturbance to disperse the rioters. After the
crowd had dispersed and the wounded and dead
were being carried away, the MDTs of the police
and the military with their tear gas equipment
and components conducted dispersal operations
in the Mendiola area and proceeded to Liwasang
Bonifacio to disperse the remnants of the
marchers.
(12) No barbed wire barricade was used in
Mendiola but no official reason was given for its
absence." 8
From the results of the probe, the Commission
recommended 9 the criminal prosecution of four
13 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

unidentified, uniformed individuals, shown either


on tape or in pictures, firing at the direction of the
marchers. In connection with this, it was the
Commission's recommendation that the National
Bureau of Investigation (NBI) be tasked to
undertake investigations regarding the identities
of those who actually fired their guns that
resulted in the death of or injury to the victims of
the incident. The Commission also suggested that
all the commissioned officers of both the Western
Police District and the INP Field Force, who were
armed during the incident, be prosecuted for
violation of paragraph 4(g) of Section 13, Batas
Pambansa Blg. 880, the Public Assembly Act of
1985. The Commission's recommendation also
included the prosecution of the marchers, for
carrying deadly or offensive weapons, but whose
identities have yet to be established. As for Jaime
Tadeo, the Commission said that he should be
prosecuted both for violation of paragraph (a),
Section 13, Batas Pambansa Blg. 880 for holding
the rally without a permit and for violation of
Article 142, as amended, of the Revised Penal
Code for inciting to sedition. As for the following
officers, namely: (1) Gen. Ramon E. Montao; (2)
Police Gen. Alfredo S. Lim; (3) Police Gen. Edgar
Dula Torres; (4) Police Maj. Demetrio dela Cruz;
(5) Col. Cezar Nazareno; and (5) Maj. Felimon
Gasmin, for their failure to make effective use of
their skill and experience in directing the
dispersal operations in Mendiola, administrative
sanctions were recommended to be imposed.
LLpr
The
last
and
the
most
significant
recommendation of the Commission was for the
deceased and wounded victims of the Mendiola
incident to be compensated by the government.
It was this portion that petitioners (Caylao group)
invoke in their claim for damages from the
government.
Notwithstanding
such
recommendation,
no
concrete form of compensation was received by
the victims. Thus, on July 27, 1987, herein
petitioners, (Caylao group) filed a formal letter of
demand for compensation from the Government.
10 This formal demand was indorsed by the office
of the Executive Secretary to the Department of
Budget and Management (DBM) on August 13,
1987. The House Committee on Human Rights, on
February 10, 1988, recommended the expeditious
payment of compensation to the Mendiola
victims. 11
After almost a year, on January 20, 1988,
petitioners (Caylao group) were constrained to
institute an action for damages against the
Republic of the Philippines, together with the
military officers, and personnel involved in the
Mendiola incident, before the trial court. The
complaint was docketed as Civil Case No. 8843351.
On February 23, 1988, the Solicitor General filed
a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the State
cannot be sued without its consent. Petitioners
opposed said motion on March 16, 1988,
maintaining that the State has waived its

immunity from suit and that the dismissal of the


instant action is contrary to both the Constitution
and the International Law on Human Rights.
Respondent Judge Sandoval, in his first
questioned Order, dismissed the complaint as
against the Republic of the Philippines on the
ground that there was no waiver by the State.
Petitioners (Caylao group) filed a Motion for
Reconsideration therefrom, but the same was
denied by respondent judge in his Order dated
August 8, 1988. Consequently, Caylao and her
co-petitioners filed the instant petition.
On the other hand, the Republic of the
Philippines, together with the military officers and
personnel impleaded as defendants in the court
below, filed its petition for certiorari.
Having arisen from the same factual beginnings
and raising practically identical issues, the two
(2) petitions were consolidated and will therefore
be jointly dealt with and resolved in this Decision.
The resolution of both petitions revolves around
the main issue of whether or not the State has
waived its immunity from suit.
Petitioners (Caylao group) advance the argument
that the State has impliedly waived its sovereign
immunity from suit. It is their considered view
that by the recommendation made by the
Commission for the government to indemnify the
heirs and victims of the Mendiola incident and by
the public addresses made by then President
Aquino in the aftermath of the killings, the State
has consented to be sued.
Under our Constitution the principle of immunity
of the government from suit is expressly provided
in Article XVI, Section 3. The principle is based on
the very essence of sovereignty, and on the
practical ground that there can be no legal right
as against the authority that makes the law on
which the right depends. 12 It also rests on
reasons of public policy that public service
would be hindered, and the public endangered, if
the sovereign authority could be subjected to law
suits at the instance of every citizen and
consequently controlled in the uses and
dispositions of the means required for the proper
administration of the government. 13

This is not a suit against the State with its


consent.
Firstly, the recommendation made by the
Commission regarding indemnification of the
heirs of the deceased and the victims of the
incident by the government does not in any way
mean that liability automatically attaches to the
State. It is important to note that A.O. 11
expressly states that the purpose of creating the
Commission was to have a body that will conduct
an "investigation of the disorder, deaths and
casualties that took place." 14 In the exercise of
14 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

its functions, A.O. 11 provides guidelines, and


what is relevant to Our discussion reads:
"1. Its conclusions regarding the existence of
probable cause for the commission of any offense
and of the persons probably guilty of the same
shall be sufficient compliance with the rules on
preliminary investigation and the charges arising
therefrom may be filed directly with the proper
court." 15
In effect, whatever may be the findings of the
Commission, the same shall only serve as the
cause of action in the event that any party
decides to litigate his/her claim. Therefore, the
Commission is merely a preliminary venue. The
Commission is not the end in itself. Whatever
recommendation it makes cannot in any way bind
the State immediately, such recommendation not
having become final and executory. This is
precisely the essence of it being a fact-finding
body.
Secondly, whatever acts or utterances that then
President Aquino may have done or said, the
same are not tantamount to the State having
waived its immunity from suit. The President's act
of joining the marchers, days after the incident,
does not mean that there was an admission by
the State of any liability. In fact to borrow the
words of petitioners (Caylao group), "it was an act
of solidarity by the government with the people".
Moreover, petitioners rely on President Aquino's
speech promising that the government would
address the grievances of the rallyists. By this
alone, it cannot be inferred that the State has
admitted any liability, much less can it be
inferred that it has consented to the suit.
Although consent to be sued may be given
impliedly, still it cannot be maintained that such
consent was given considering the circumstances
obtaining in the instant case.
Thirdly, the case does not qualify as a suit against
the State.
Some instances when a suit against the State is
proper are: 16
(1) When the Republic is sued by name;
(2) When the suit is against an unincorporated
government agency;
(3) When the suit is on its face against a
government officer but the case is such that
ultimate liability will belong not to the officer but
to the government.
While the Republic in this case is sued by name,
the ultimate liability does not pertain to the
government. Although the military officers and
personnel,
then
party
defendants,
were
discharging their official functions when the
incident occurred, their functions ceased to be
official the moment they exceeded their authority.
Based on the Commission findings, there was lack
of justification by the government forces in the

use of firearms. 17 Moreover, the members of the


police and military crowd dispersal units
committed a prohibited act under B.P. Blg. 880 18
as there was unnecessary firing by them in
dispersing the marchers. 19
As early as 1954, this Court has pronounced that
an officer cannot shelter himself by the plea that
he is a public agent acting under the color of his
office when his acts are wholly without authority.
20 Until recently in 1991, 21 this doctrine still
found application, this Court saying that
immunity from suit cannot institutionalize
irresponsibility and non-accountability nor grant a
privileged status not claimed by any other official
of the Republic. The military and police forces
were deployed to ensure that the rally would be
peaceful and orderly as well as to guarantee the
safety of the very people that they are dutybound to protect. However, the facts as found by
the trial court showed that they fired at the
unruly crowd to disperse the latter.
While it is true that nothing is better settled than
the general rule that a sovereign state and its
political subdivisions cannot be sued in the courts
except when it has given its consent, it cannot be
invoked by both the military officers to release
them from any liability, and by the heirs and
victims to demand indemnification from the
government. The principle of state immunity from
suit does not apply, as in this case, when the
relief demanded by the suit requires no
affirmative official action on the part of the State
nor the affirmative discharge of any obligation
which belongs to the State in its political
capacity, even though the officers or agents who
are made defendants claim to hold or act only by
virtue of a title of the state and as its agents and
servants. 22 This Court has made it quite clear
that even a "high position in the government
does not confer a license to persecute or
recklessly injure another." 23
The inescapable conclusion is that the State
cannot be held civilly liable for the deaths that
followed the incident. Instead, the liability should
fall on the named defendants in the lower court.
In line with the ruling of this court in Shauf vs.
Court of Appeals, 24 herein public officials, having
been found to have acted beyond the scope of
their authority, may be held liable for damages.
WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error and no
grave abuse of discretion committed by
respondent Judge in issuing the questioned
orders, the instant petitions are hereby
DISMISSED.
SO ORDERED.
Narvasa, C . J ., Cruz, Feliciano, Padilla, Bidin,
Grio-Aquino, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero,
Nocon, Bellosillo, Melo and Quiason, JJ., concur.
Gutierrez, Jr., J., on terminal leave.

15 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

(concerned Citizens of Obando vs Ecoshield


development Corp., Et al 2001, Bondoc v.
J.P. Paje, G.R. No. 198890, March 13, 2012)
EN BANC
[G.R. No. 198890. March 13, 2012.]
MARIA TERESA S. BONDOC, et al., petitioners, vs.
HON. RAMON J.P. PAJE, in his capacity as
Secretary of the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources, et al., respondent.
NOTICE
Sirs/Mesdames :
Please take notice that the Court en banc issued
a Resolution dated MARCH 13, 2012, which reads
as follows:
"G.R. No. 198890 (Maria Teresa S. Bondoc, et al.
vs. Hon. Ramon J.P. Paje, in his capacity as
Secretary of the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources, et al.). The Court Resolved
to NOTE and REFER the following documents to
the COURT OF APPEALS due to prior referral of
this case to the said court per resolution dated
February 21, 2012:
(a)Compliance/Manifestation dated February 29,
2012 filed by counsel for petitioners, stating that
they have already filed a Consolidated
Compliance/Reply to all the Comments of the
respondents, including that of the Governor of
Bulacan and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan; and
(b)Compliance/Reply
(Re:
Comment
dated
November 28, 2011; Comment dated November
29, 2011; Comment dated November 30, 2011;
and Comment dated December 1, 2011) dated
February 17, 2012 filed by counsel for petitioners
pursuant to the resolutions of December 13,
2011, January 17, 2012 and February 21, 2012."
Del Castillo, J., on leave. (adv65) HDTSIE
Very truly yours,
(SGD.) ENRIQUETA E. VIDAL
Clerk of Court
ICC on Thomas Lubanga Dyilo Case,
Democratic Republic of Congo, March 1
2012
Lubanga Case Katanga and Ngudjolo Chui
Cases
On 26 January 2009, the ICC opened its first trial
in the case against Congolese warlord Thomas
Lubanga Dyilo. Lubanga was the first person
charged in the Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC) situation as well as the Courts first
detainee.
The trial marks a turning point for the Rome
Statute, the ICCs founding treaty, which entered
into force only in 2002. The Lubanga proceedings
will be the first test of formal victim participation
in an international criminal trial. The case also
highlights the gravity of recruitment, enlistment
and conscription of child soldiers.

As the alleged leader of the Union of Congolese


Patriots (UPC) and the commander-in-chief of its
military wing, the Forces patriotiques pour la
libration du Congo (FPLC), Lubanga is accused of
enlisting and conscripting children under the age
of fifteen and using them to participate actively in
hostilities, from September 2002 to 13 August
2003.
Arrest warrant and transfer
On 10 February 2006, Pre Trial Chamber I issued a
warrant of arrest under seal for Lubanga. On 17
March 2006, the arrest warrant for Lubanga was
publicly announced and unsealed by ICC Pre-Trial
Chamber I. Due to the cooperation of DRC
authorities, the French government and MONUC,
Lubanga was transferred to The Hague on the
same day.
The crimes for which Lubanga has been charged
with are listed as war crimes under Articles 8(2)
(b)(xxvi) or 8(2)(e)(vii) of the Rome Statute of the
ICC.
The Prosecutor of the ICC has charged Thomas
Lubanga Dyilo with the war crime of enlisting
children under the age of fifteen; conscripting
children under the age of fifteen; and using
children under the age of fifteen to participate
actively in hostilities.
First appearance
On 20 March 2006, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo first
appeared in Court before ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I.
PRE-TRIAL CONFIRMATION OF CHARGES
A three-week confirmation of charges hearing
was held in November 2006. Four victims
participated in the proceedings and were allowed
to present their views and concerns.
On 29 January 2007, ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I
confirmed the charges against Thomas Lubanga
Dyilo, sending the case against him to trial.
The Chamber found sufficient evidence to
establish substantial grounds to believe that
Lubanga is criminally responsible as a coperpetrator for the charges made against him for
the period beginning September 2002, when the
Force Patriotiques pour la Liberation du Congo
(FPLC) was founded, and ending 13 August 2003.
First stay of proceedings and revival of the
trial
On 13 June 2008, the Court announced a stay of
the proceedings in the Lubanga case because the
Prosecution was unable to make available
potentially exculpatory materials. The Prosecutor
had obtained the evidence in question on a
confidential basis from several sources, including
the UN, and these sources had refused to disclose
it to the Defence and, in most cases, to the Trial
Chamber. During a hearing on 24 June 2008 , Trial
Chamber I stated that it would be premature to
consider the release of the accused at this stage.
16 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

On 2 July 2008, Trial Chamber I issued an order


granting unconditional release to Thomas
Lubanga Dyilo. The Prosecution appealed the
order which was given suspensive effect,
meaning that the accused shall not leave
detention until the Appeals Chamber has resolved
the issue.
On 11 July 2008, the Prosecution requested Trial
Chamber I to resume trial proceedings and to
revoke the order of release of Thomas Lubanga
Dyilo because of new UN procedures that would
allow the Chamber to review potentially
exculpatory evidence.
On 3 September 2008, ICC Trial Chamber I
decided to maintain the stay of the proceedings
in the Lubanga case. The decision stated that
The proposals outlined in the application
demonstrably fail to meet the prerequisites set
out hitherto by the Chamber to enable it to lift
the stay of proceedings, and they infringe
fundamental aspects of the accused's right to a
fair trial. Lubanga will however remain in
custody until a final decision is taken by the ICC
Appeals Chamber on the appeal of the order
granting him unconditional release.
On 14 October 2008, the Prosecution decided to
discontinue the first and second grounds of his
Appeal against the Trial Chambers decision to
stay the proceedings. According to the
Prosecution, information providers now agree to
allow complete access to all the Article 54(3)(e)
documents by both the Trial Chamber and the
Appeals Chamber, if necessary. This notice does
not affect the third ground in that appeal, on the
imposition of the stay of trial, nor does it affect
the appeals from the decisions to release the
accused.
On 21 October 2008, the Appeals Chamber of the
International Criminal Court (ICC) rejected the
appeal by the ICC Prosecutor Luis MorenoOcampo to revive the trial of the ICCs first
accused, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo of the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However,
the judges ruled in favor of the Prosecutors
appeal to reject the release of the accused
because the trial was on hold. The Appeals
Chamber said the Trial Chamber was wrong to say
that an inevitable consequence of a conditional
stay of the trial proceedings is the unconditional
and immediate release of the accused. Judges
remanded the matter of the accuseds release
back to the Trial Chamber for a new
determination regarding the release of Lubanga,
in light of their judgment and by taking into
account all relevant factors, including the need
for Lubanga to remain in detention according to
the conditions set out in Articles 60 and 58 (1) of
the Rome Statute.
On 22 October 2008 Trial Chamber I reacted to
the Appeals Chambers decision, requesting the
Prosecution, Defence and Legal Representatives
of victims to make submissions on Lubangas pretrial detention before 31 October 2008.

On 18 November 2008, Trial Chamber I of the


International Criminal Court announced its
decision to lift the stay of the proceedings in the
Lubanga case as the reasons for imposing the
stay "have fallen away". The Judges announced
the trial would start on 26 January 2009. Trial
Chamber I also decided not to grant the release
or provisional release of Lubanga
Preparatory hearings
The Court has held multiple hearings in
preparation for the Lubanga trial. With decisions
on the participation of victims in the trial, on the
disclosure of evidence, the redaction of
documents, the role of the Office of Public
Counsel for Victims, the Court has been setting
key guidelines on many crucial issues.
Trial
On 26 January 2009, the ICC opened its first trial
in the case against Congolese warlord Thomas
Lubanga Dyilo.
The Prosecution, the Defence, the Registry and 8
Legal Representatives of Victims representing 93
victims are participating in trial hearings
The Prosecution finished the presentation
of its case in mid-July 2009.
The presentation of the Defenses case
originally scheduled to start in October 2009
had been adjourned pending a ruling by the
Appeals Chamber on the recharacterization of the
facts and the addition of charges of sexual
slavery and inhuman and/or cruel treatment to
the existing charges. On 8 December 2009, the
Appeals Chamber of the ICC reversed the Trial
Chamber decision on the reclassification of the
facts in the Lubanga case
On 7 January 2010, the Lubanga trial resumed
with the testimonies of two experts and three
victims.
The
Defense
then
started
the
presentation of its evidence.
Second stay of the proceedings
On 8 July 2010 ICC Trial Chamber I ordered to stay
the proceedings in the case The Prosecutor v.
Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, considering that the fair
trial of the accused was no longer possible due to
non-implementation of the Chamber's orders by
the Prosecution. The Chamber had ordered the
Office of the Prosecutor to confidentially disclose
to the Defence the identity of intermediary 143.
On 15 July 2010, ICC Trial Chamber I ordered the
release of Thomas Lubanga. ICC judges argued
that an accused cannot be held in preventative
custody on a speculative basis, namely that at
some stage in the future the proceedings may be
resurrected. However, the order was not
implemented
with immediate
effect.
The
Prosecution appealed the decision and the
request was granted suspensive effect meaning
Thomas Lubanga remained in detention until the
Appeals Chamber made a final decision.

17 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

On 8 October 2010, the ICC Appeals Chamber


reversed Trial Chamber Is July 2010 decision to
stay proceedings and to release the accused.
Appeals judges stated that although the
prosecutor did not comply with the Trial
Chambers orders relating to protection issues,
judges should first have tried applying sanctions
before imposing the drastic measure of a stay of
proceedings. The trial resumed but was again put
on hold for 6 weeks in early 2011 due to various
challenges brought by the defense, in particular
regarding the disclosure of the identity of
witnesses and participating victims. On 23
February 2011, Trial Chamber I rejected another
defense application for a stay of proceedings and
the trial resumed on 21 March 2011. On 20 May
2011, Trial Chamber I ordered the closing of the
presentation phase of evidence.
End of trial phase
On 25 and 26 August 2011, the closing
statements took place before TC I. The
Prosecution and the Defence presented their final
arguments. The legal representatives of victims
also made statements at the final hearings. A
total of 123 victims were authorized to participate
during
the
trial.
Through
their
legal
representative, these victims expressed their
position on matters heard before the chamber
and were authorized to examine witnesses on
specific issues. On 15 December 2011, TC I
decided it will first issue the authoritative version
of the judgment in English in the case, with the
French translation to follow a number of weeks
later.
Verdict
On 14 March 2012, in the first trial at the ICC,
Trial Chamber (TC) I convicted Thomas Lubanga
Dyiloleader of the Union of Congolese Patriots
(UPC) and the commander-in-chief of its military
wing, the Forces patriotiques pour la libration du
Congo (FPLC)of the war crimes of enlisting and
conscripting children under the age of 15 years
and using them to participate actively in
hostilities in the DRC between September 2002
and August 2003. He was later sentenced to 14
years imprisonment.
He was the first person charged in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) situation as
well as the Courts first detainee.
The trial, which opened on 26 January 2009,
marked a turning point for the Rome Statute, the
ICCs founding treaty, which entered into force
only in 2002. The Lubanga proceedings are the
first test of formal victim participation in an
international criminal trial. The case also
highlights the gravity of recruitment, enlistment
and conscription of child soldiers.
Sentencing
On 13 June, TC I heard aggravating and
mitigating factors to determine the sentence to
be imposed. The prosecutor has requested a 30
year sentence, or 20 years should Lubanga
submit a genuine apology and commit to working
to prevent future crimes and promote peace.

On 10 July 2012, TC I sentenced Lubanga to 14


years imprisonment. The some six years Lubanga
has already served in detention in The Hague
since March 2006 have been taken into account
in the Chambers decision and will be deducted
from the total sentence.
On 3 October 2012, Thomas Lubanga appealed
both the guilty verdict and sentence handed
down by ICC judges during his trial, asking for an
acquittal and annulment, or a reduction, of the
14-year sentence. The ICC prosecutor appealed
for the sentence to be revised upwards.
Meanwhile, all parties and participants, as well as
the
Trust
Fund
for
Victims,
submitted
observations on reparations proceedings in the
case.
Lubanga has requested that the ICC President
Judge Sang-Hyun Song be removed from the
Appeals Chamber handling the appeal against his
conviction and sentencing.
Appeals
On 3 October 2012, Lubanga appealed both the
guilty verdict and sentence handed down by ICC
judges, asking for an acquittal and annulment, or
a reduction, of the 14-year sentence. The ICC
prosecutor appealed for the sentence to be
revised upwards.
On 19 June, 2014 the Appeals Chamber dismissed
a request by Lubangas defense team to remove
ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song from the
Appeals Chamber handling the appeal against his
conviction and sentencing.
During an appeals hearing on 19 and 20 May
2014, the age of child soldiers under the
command of Lubanga was the main focus of
discussions.
Reparations
On 7 August 2012, TC I issued its first ever
decision on the principles for victims' reparations
for harm suffered as a consequence of the crimes
committed by Lubanga. The judges set out what
the basis would be for the reparations award, as
well as what the process would look like to come
to the actual award. TC I decided that the Trust
Fund for Victims (TFV) will collect reparations
proposals from victims, which will then be
approved by the Chamber.
Detention
Lubanga is currently detained in one of the 12 ICC
cells of the Haaglanden Prison, in Scheveningen
in The Hague since 17 March 2006. The
Scheveningen prison is located less than twenty
minutes by road from the Court. The International
Committee of the Red Cross visits the Detention
Centre regularly. Although a number of states
including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland,
United Kingdom and Serbiahave declared their
willingness to accept sentenced persons by the
ICC, it has not yet been decided where Lubanga
will serve out his sentence.
18 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

http://www.iccnow.org/?
mod=drctimelinelubanga
Summary of the Lubanga Hearing 2006
November 9-17
Background to the Hearing
On 28 August 2006, the Office of the Prosecutor
of the International Criminal Court (ICC) filed the
document containing the charges against Thomas
Lubanga Dyilo. These charges included three
counts of war crimes under the Rome Statute,
namely: i) conscripting children under the age of
15 into armed groups; ii) enlisting children under
the age of 15 into armed groups and; iii) using
them to participate actively in hostilities, all
committed in the context of an armed conflict not
of an international character. If the charges are
confirmed, the Presidency of the Court will
establish a Trial Chamber responsible for
subsequent hearings. The Pre-Trial Chamber,
which is obliged to hold a hearing to confirm the
charges on which the Prosecutor intends to seek
trial within a reasonable amount of time after a
suspects appearance before the Court, began
this process on 9 November 2006.
Summary of the Hearing 9 17 November
The Prosecution - At the opening of the
Confirmation of Charges Hearing, the Prosecution
announced its intention to prove that Mr. Lubanga
has acted with great duplicity as, on the one
hand, a politician purporting to act in the
interests of peace and, on the other, the brutal
Commander in Chief of the FPLC (Forces
patriotiques pour la libration du Congo) who
conscripted and enlisted many children under the
age of 15, trained them as combatants, and sent
them to kill and be killed in battle. The
Prosecution stated that the Hearing would give
the world an idea of the brutality of the lives of
child soldiers as well as the brutality of those
responsible
for
their
recruitment
and/or
conscription. The Prosecution then announced
that it would rely on various evidence in support
of its charges, including: statements of victims
and witnesses; official Union des Patriotes
Congolais (UPC) and FPLC documents, some of
which were signed by Mr. Lubanga Dyilo; and an
assortment of video footage.
On the morning of 15 November, the Prosecution
began to examine its witness, Ms. Christine
Peduto, a UN expert on child protection. Among
other things, she stated that she had seen and
interviewed child soldiers in UPC camps in March
2003, many of whom were under the age of 15.
The Defence - Led by Mr. Jean Flamme, the
Defence began to present its case in the late
afternoon of 10 November. Mr. Flamme
underscored the fact that Mr. Lubangas trial, the
first to be heard by the ICC, is likely to be
regarded as a symbol of a justice to come, and
may suffer as a consequence. Mr. Flamme
presented Mr. Lubanga as a peaceful man, a
shepherd who wanted to lead his flock to peace,

and a man whose principal goals were to secure


ethnic reconciliation, peace, and the equitable
distribution of natural resources within the DRC.
He went on to state that the trial represented the
advent of a new kind of justice, NGO justice. He
asserted that much of the Prosecutions case is
reliant on NGO studies and questioned the
soundness of such a reliance. The Defence will
be given the opportunity to cross-examine the
Prosecutions witness on Monday 20 November
2006.
Participating victims - As the ICC is the first
international tribunal whose Statute and Rules of
Procedure and Evidence provide victims with the
possibility of presenting their views and
observations before the Court, the first case
involves the participation of legal representatives
for the four victims who have been authorised to
participate in the proceedings. In his opening
statement, Mr. Luc Walleyn, one of the legal
representatives for the victims, painted a picture
of the victims lives, and those of their families
and then emphasised the symbolic importance of
his clients appearance before the Chamber,
suggesting that their plight is representative of
that of many, many more. Mr. George Gebbie,
another legal representative of victims, while
appreciative of the symbolic value of the victims
official participation, urged that it be balanced
against the need to recognise them as
individuals.
http://www.iccnow.org/documents/Summary
LubangaHearing06Nov9-17.pdf
Dissent
in
Lubanga
Appeal
Highlights Fair Trial Concerns

Decision

COMMENTARY from THOMAS LUBANGA at


the INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
by Alison Cole, December 1, 2014
The International Criminal Court (ICC) today
issued its first appellate decision in the case
against
Thomas
Lubanga,
upholding
his
conviction and sentence for war crimes relating
to child soldiers. However, a strong dissent was
issued by Judge Anita Uacka, who stated that
she would have reversed the conviction and
acquitted Mr. Lubanga, vacating his sentence.
The majority appellate decision relied upon the
law regulating appeals to find that the trial
chamber overall had not acted beyond the limits
of its discretion. The appeals judges found that
the trial chambers conviction and sentence were
within the bounds of a reasonable arbiter of fact.
The appeals judges also affirmed that the
accused charged as a co-perpetrator need not
personally directly commit the alleged acts but
that a crime must be virtually certain to follow
from the common purpose with other coperpetrators.
Judge Uacka based her dissent on two grounds.
First, she found that the charges lacked specificity
and thereby did not provide Mr. Lubanga with
19 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

enough notice to prepare his defense. She found


that this violated his right to a fair trial.
The majority appeal judgment found that the
vagueness in the original arrest warrant was
cured through the provision of further information
during the legal proceedings, such as the
document containing the charges submitted
before the confirmation of charges hearing and
the list of evidence provided to the defense.
However, Judge Uacka found that this additional
information from the prosecutor did not
sufficiently cure the defects in the pleading of the
indictment. She found that the range of dates
provided by the prosecution concerning when the
alleged crimes took place were too broad. She
also found that the locations of the events were
not sufficiently clear and the identities of the
alleged victims were not specific. For example,
initially nine victims were mentioned, but addition
victims were raised during the proceedings.
Unlike the majority, Judge Uacka did not find
that these defects were cured by the additional
information provided by the prosecution.
The second ground of Judge Uackas dissent
focused on the trial chambers findings on the
evidence relating to the age of the alleged child
soldiers. She expressed reservations with the
method of identifying the age of a person through
their physical appearance. In particular, Judge
Uacka found it problematic that the trial
judgment made reference to alleged victims
found to be relatively close to the age of 15.
Judge Uacka disapproved of the methodology of
judges relying upon their own impressions in
these circumstances and the opinions of nonexpert witnesses.
Judge Uacka raised the video evidence relied in
the trial proceedings as a demonstration of the
flawed reliance on impressionistic reasoning from
the evidence and urged that in such instances,
the evidence should be interpreted restrictively.
Consequently, Judge Uacka did not find it
reasonable for the trial chamber to find that the
video excerpts depicted children manifestly
under the age of 15. She also found that, at
times, the videos showed only partial views with
no objective measures to make a comparison of
the content within the video. As a result, Judge
Uacka disagreed with the majority decision to
exclude the additional evidence obtained by the
defense after the close of the trial proceedings of
two witnesses, Witness D-0040 and Witness D0041, who allegedly were able to dispute the age
of the persons shown in the videos.
In conclusion, Judge Uacka opined that it
seemed the trial judgment was motivated by the
desire to establish a historical record of the
events, as opposed to an assessment of the
individual liability of the accused. She expressed
her hope that future prosecutions will preserve
fairness of proceedings and will not sacrifice fair
trial concerns in order to put historical events on
the record.

In his partially dissenting opinion, Judge SangHyun Song noted that he considers the war
crimes-specific provision of the Rome Statute
charged constitutes one charge as opposed to
three separate charges, as found by the trial
chamber and affirmed on appeal. Judge Song also
noted that the appeals judges ought to provide
trial judges more guidance on the sentencing
criteria, which will be set out in more detail in his
dissenting judgment.
This appellate decision, while a landmark
demonstrating the operational effectiveness of
the ICC, highlights continuing concerns regarding
preserving the accuseds right to a fair trial.
However, it is important to note that the court is
a judicial institution with no enforcement powers.
It relies entirely on the cooperation of States to
implement its mandate. Challenges in evidence
collection and assessment relates to the
commitment of governments to provide sufficient
funding, access, and support to allow the ICC to
do its work. The upcoming Assembly of State
Parties in New York starting this Monday,
December 8, will be a crucial opportunity to
reassess this engagement by States to support
accountability for atrocity crimes.
http://www.ijmonitor.org/2014/12/dissent-inlubanga-appeal-decision-highlights-fairtrial-concerns/
(Secretary of National Defense v. Manalo,
G.R. No. 180906, October 07, 2008)
EN BANC
[G.R. No. 180906. October 7, 2008.]
THE SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, THE
CHIEF OF STAFF, ARMED FORCES OF THE
PHILIPPINES, petitioners, vs. RAYMOND MANALO
and REYNALDO MANALO, respondents.
DECISION
PUNO, C.J p:
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. SIcEHC
This is an appeal via Petition for Review under
Rule 45 of the Rules of Court in relation to Section
19 1 of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo, seeking to
reverse and set aside on both questions of fact
and law, the Decision promulgated by the Court
of Appeals in C.A. G.R. AMPARO No. 00001,
entitled "Raymond Manalo and Reynaldo Manalo,
petitioners, versus The Secretary of National
Defense, the Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the
Philippines, respondents."
20 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

This case was originally a Petition for Prohibition,


Injunction, and Temporary Restraining Order
(TRO) 2 filed before this Court by herein
respondents (therein petitioners) on August 23,
2007 to stop herein petitioners (therein
respondents) and/or their officers and agents
from depriving them of their right to liberty and
other basic rights. Therein petitioners also sought
ancillary remedies, Protective Custody Orders,
Appointment of Commissioner, Inspection and
Access Orders, and all other legal and equitable
reliefs under Article VIII, Section 5 (5) 3 of the
1987 Constitution and Rule 135, Section 6 of the
Rules of Court. In our Resolution dated August 24,
2007, we (1) ordered the Secretary of the
Department of National Defense and the Chief of
Staff of the AFP, their agents, representatives, or
persons acting in their stead, including but not
limited to the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical
Unit (CAFGU) to submit their Comment; and (2)
enjoined them from causing the arrest of therein
petitioners, or otherwise restricting, curtailing,
abridging, or depriving them of their right to life,
liberty, and other basic rights as guaranteed
under Article III, Section 1 4 of the 1987
Constitution. 5
While the August 23, 2007 Petition was pending,
the Rule on the Writ of Amparo took effect on
October 24, 2007. Forthwith, therein petitioners
filed a Manifestation and Omnibus Motion to Treat
Existing Petition as Amparo Petition, to Admit
Supporting Affidavits, and to Grant Interim and
Final Amparo Reliefs. They prayed that: (1) the
petition be considered a Petition for the Writ of
Amparo under Sec. 26 6 of the Amparo Rule; (2)
the Court issue the writ commanding therein
respondents to make a verified return within the
period provided by law and containing the
specific matter required by law; (3) they be
granted the interim reliefs allowed by the Amparo
Rule and all other reliefs prayed for in the petition
but not covered by the Amparo Rule; (4) the
Court, after hearing, render judgment as required
in Sec. 18 7 of the Amparo Rule; and (5) all other
just and equitable reliefs. 8 cDCaHA
On October 25, 2007, the Court resolved to treat
the August 23, 2007 Petition as a petition under
the Amparo Rule and further resolved, viz.:
WHEREFORE, let a WRIT OF AMPARO be issued to
respondents requiring them to file with the CA
(Court of Appeals) a verified written return within
five (5) working days from service of the writ. We
REMAND the petition to the CA and designate the
Division of Associate Justice Lucas P. Bersamin to
conduct the summary hearing on the petition on
November 8, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. and decide the
petition in accordance with the Rule on the Writ of
Amparo. 9
On December 26, 2007, the Court of Appeals
rendered a decision in favor of therein petitioners
(herein respondents), the dispositive portion of
which reads, viz.:
ACCORDINGLY, the PRIVILEGE OF THE WRIT OF
AMPARO is GRANTED.

The respondents SECRETARY OF NATIONAL


DEFENSE and AFP CHIEF OF STAFF are hereby
REQUIRED:
1. To furnish to the petitioners and to this Court
within five days from notice of this decision all
official and unofficial reports of the investigation
undertaken in connection with their case, except
those already on file herein;
2. To confirm in writing the present places of
official assignment of M/Sgt Hilario aka Rollie
Castillo and Donald Caigas within five days from
notice of this decision.
3. To cause to be produced to this Court all
medical reports, records and charts, reports of
any treatment given or recommended and
medicines prescribed, if any, to the petitioners, to
include a list of medical and (sic) personnel
(military and civilian) who attended to them from
February 14, 2006 until August 12, 2007 within
five days from notice of this decision. EHSTcC
The compliance with this decision shall be made
under the signature and oath of respondent AFP
Chief of Staff or his duly authorized deputy, the
latter's authority to be express and made
apparent on the face of the sworn compliance
with this directive.
SO ORDERED. 10
Hence, this appeal. In resolving this appeal, we
first unfurl the facts as alleged by herein
respondents:
Respondent Raymond Manalo recounted that
about one or two weeks before February 14,
2006, several uniformed and armed soldiers and
members of the CAFGU summoned to a meeting
all the residents of their barangay in San
Idelfonso, Bulacan. Respondents were not able to
attend as they were not informed of the
gathering, but Raymond saw some of the soldiers
when he passed by the barangay hall. 11
On February 14, 2006, Raymond was sleeping in
their house in Buhol na Mangga, San Ildefonso,
Bulacan. At past noon, several armed soldiers
wearing white shirts, fatigue pants and army
boots, entered their house and roused him. They
asked him if he was Bestre, but his mother, Ester
Manalo, replied that he was Raymond, not Bestre.
The armed soldier slapped him on both cheeks
and nudged him in the stomach. He was then
handcuffed, brought to the rear of his house, and
forced to the ground face down. He was kicked on
the hip, ordered to stand and face up to the light,
then forcibly brought near the road. He told his
mother to follow him, but three soldiers stopped
her and told her to stay. 12
Among the men who came to take him, Raymond
recognized brothers Michael de la Cruz, Madning
de la Cruz, "Puti" de la Cruz, and "Pula" de la
Cruz, who all acted as lookout. They were all
members of the CAFGU and residing in Manuzon,
21 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

San Ildefonso, Bulacan. He also recognized


brothers Randy Mendoza and Rudy Mendoza, also
members of the CAFGU. While he was being
forcibly taken, he also saw outside of his house
two barangay councilors, Pablo Cunanan and
Bernardo Lingasa, with some soldiers and armed
men. 13 ECaTDc
The men forced Raymond into a white L300 van.
Once inside, he was blindfolded. Before being
blindfolded, he saw the faces of the soldiers who
took him. Later, in his 18 months of captivity, he
learned their names. The one who drove the van
was Rizal Hilario alias Rollie Castillo, whom he
estimated was about 40 years of age or older.
The leader of the team who entered his house
and abducted him was "Ganata". He was tall,
thin, curly-haired and a bit old. Another one of his
abductors was "George" who was tall, thin, whiteskinned and about 30 years old. 14
The van drove off, then came to a stop. A person
was brought inside the van and made to sit
beside Raymond. Both of them were beaten up.
On the road, he recognized the voice of the
person beside him as his brother Reynaldo's. The
van stopped several times until they finally
arrived at a house. Raymond and Reynaldo were
each brought to a different room. With the doors
of their rooms left open, Raymond saw several
soldiers continuously hitting his brother Reynaldo
on the head and other parts of his body with the
butt of their guns for about 15 minutes. After
which, Reynaldo was brought to his (Raymond's)
room and it was his (Raymond's) turn to be
beaten up in the other room. The soldiers asked
him if he was a member of the New People's
Army. Each time he said he was not, he was hit
with the butt of their guns. He was questioned
where his comrades were, how many soldiers he
had killed, and how many NPA members he had
helped. Each time he answered none, they hit
him. 15
In the next days, Raymond's interrogators
appeared to be high officials as the soldiers who
beat him up would salute them, call them "sir",
and treat them with respect. He was in blindfolds
when interrogated by the high officials, but he
saw their faces when they arrived and before the
blindfold was put on. He noticed that the uniform
of the high officials was different from those of
the other soldiers. One of those officials was tall
and thin, wore white pants, tie, and leather
shoes, instead of combat boots. He spoke in
Tagalog and knew much about his parents and
family, and a habeas corpus case filed in
connection with the respondents' abduction. 16
While these officials interrogated him, Raymond
was not manhandled. But once they had left, the
soldier guards beat him up. When the guards got
drunk, they also manhandled respondents. During
this time, Raymond was fed only at night, usually
with left-over and rotten food. 17
On the third week of respondents' detention, two
men arrived while Raymond was sleeping and
beat him up. They doused him with urine and hot
water, hit his stomach with a piece of wood,

slapped his forehead twice with a .45 pistol,


punched him on the mouth, and burnt some parts
of his body with a burning wood. When he could
no longer endure the torture and could hardly
breathe, they stopped. They then subjected
Reynaldo to the same ordeal in another room.
Before their torturers left, they warned Raymond
that they would come back the next day and kill
him. 18

The following night, Raymond attempted to


escape. He waited for the guards to get drunk,
then made noise with the chains put on him to
see if they were still awake. When none of them
came to check on him, he managed to free his
hand from the chains and jumped through the
window. He passed through a helipad and firing
range and stopped near a fishpond where he
used stones to break his chains. After walking
through a forested area, he came near a river and
an Iglesia ni Kristo church. He talked to some
women who were doing the laundry, asked where
he was and the road to Gapan. He was told that
he was in Fort Magsaysay. 19 He reached the
highway, but some soldiers spotted him, forcing
him to run away. The soldiers chased him and
caught up with him. They brought him to another
place near the entrance of what he saw was Fort
Magsaysay. He was boxed repeatedly, kicked, and
hit with chains until his back bled. They poured
gasoline on him. Then a so-called "Mam" or
"Madam" suddenly called, saying that she wanted
to see Raymond before he was killed. The soldiers
ceased the torture and he was returned inside
Fort Magsaysay where Reynaldo was detained. 20
HEacDA
For some weeks, the respondents had a respite
from all the torture. Their wounds were treated.
When the wounds were almost healed, the
torture resumed, particularly when respondents'
guards got drunk. 21

they had a hard time urinating, their stomachs


were aching, and they felt other pains in their
body. The next day, two ladies in white arrived.
They also examined respondents and gave them
medicines, including orasol, amoxicillin and
mefenamic acid. They brought with them the
results of respondents' urine test and advised
them to drink plenty of water and take their
medicine. The two ladies returned a few more
times. Thereafter, medicines were sent through
the "master" of the DTU, "Master" Del Rosario
alias Carinyoso at Puti. Respondents were kept in
the DTU for about two weeks. While there, he met
a soldier named Efren who said that Gen.
Palparan ordered him to monitor and take care of
them. 25
One day, Rizal Hilario fetched respondents in a
Revo vehicle. They, along with Efren and several
other armed men wearing fatigue suits, went to a
detachment in Pinaud, San Ildefonso, Bulacan.
Respondents were detained for one or two weeks
in a big two-storey house. Hilario and Efren
stayed with them. While there, Raymond was
beaten up by Hilario's men. 26
From Pinaud, Hilario and Efren brought
respondents to Sapang, San Miguel, Bulacan on
board the Revo. They were detained in a big
unfinished house inside the compound of
"Kapitan" for about three months. When they
arrived in Sapang, Gen. Palparan talked to them.
They were brought out of the house to a
basketball court in the center of the compound
and made to sit. Gen. Palparan was already
waiting, seated. He was about two arms' length
away from respondents. He began by asking if
respondents felt well already, to which Raymond
replied in the affirmative. He asked Raymond if he
knew him. Raymond lied that he did not. He then
asked Raymond if he would be scared if he were
made to face Gen. Palparan. Raymond responded
that he would not be because he did not believe
that Gen. Palparan was an evil man. 27

Raymond recalled that sometime in April until


May 2006, he was detained in a room enclosed by
steel bars. He stayed all the time in that small
room measuring 1 x 2 meters, and did everything
there, including urinating, removing his bowels,
bathing, eating and sleeping. He counted that
eighteen people 22 had been detained in that
bartolina, including his brother Reynaldo and
himself. 23

Raymond narrated his conversation with Gen.


Palparan in his affidavit, viz.:

For about three and a half months, the


respondents were detained in Fort Magsaysay.
They were kept in a small house with two rooms
and a kitchen. One room was made into the
bartolina. The house was near the firing range,
helipad and mango trees. At dawn, soldiers
marched by their house. They were also
sometimes detained in what he only knew as the
"DTU". 24

Sabi ni Gen. Palparan:

At the DTU, a male doctor came to examine


respondents. He checked their body and eyes,
took their urine samples and marked them. When
asked how they were feeling, they replied that
22 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

Tinanong ako ni Gen. Palparan,


"Ngayon na kaharap mo na ako, di ka ba
natatakot sa akin?"
Sumagot akong, "Siyempre po, natatakot din. . ."

"Sige, bibigyan ko kayo ng isang pagkakataon na


mabuhay, basta't sundin n'yo ang lahat ng
sasabihin ko. . . sabihin mo sa magulang mo
huwag pumunta sa mga rali, sa hearing, sa
Karapatan at sa Human Right dahil niloloko lang
kayo. Sabihin sa magulang at lahat sa bahay na
huwag paloko doon. Tulungan kami na kausapin si
Bestre na sumuko na sa gobyerno." 28 HSacEI
Respondents agreed to do as Gen. Palparan told
them as they felt they could not do otherwise. At
about 3:00 in the morning, Hilario, Efren and the

former's men the same group that abducted


them brought them to their parents' house.
Raymond was shown to his parents while
Reynaldo stayed in the Revo because he still
could not walk. In the presence of Hilario and
other soldiers, Raymond relayed to his parents
what Gen. Palparan told him. As they were afraid,
Raymond's parents acceded. Hilario threatened
Raymond's parents that if they continued to join
human rights rallies, they would never see their
children again. The respondents were then
brought back to Sapang. 29
When respondents arrived back in Sapang, Gen.
Palparan was about to leave. He was talking with
the four "masters" who were there: Arman,
Ganata, Hilario and Cabalse. 30 When Gen.
Palparan saw Raymond, he called for him. He was
in a big white vehicle. Raymond stood outside the
vehicle as Gen. Palparan told him to gain back his
strength and be healthy and to take the medicine
he left for him and Reynaldo. He said the
medicine was expensive at Php35.00 each, and
would make them strong. He also said that they
should prove that they are on the side of the
military and warned that they would not be given
another chance. 31 During his testimony,
Raymond identified Gen. Palparan by his picture.
32
One of the soldiers named Arman made Raymond
take the medicine left by Gen. Palparan. The
medicine, named "Alive", was green and yellow.
Raymond and Reynaldo were each given a box of
this medicine and instructed to take one capsule
a day. Arman checked if they were getting their
dose of the medicine. The "Alive" made them
sleep each time they took it, and they felt heavy
upon waking up. 33
After a few days, Hilario arrived again. He took
Reynaldo and left Raymond at Sapang. Arman
instructed Raymond that while in Sapang, he
should introduce himself as "Oscar", a military
trainee from Sariaya, Quezon, assigned in
Bulacan. While there, he saw again Ganata, one
of the men who abducted him from his house,
and got acquainted with other military men and
civilians. 34 SaICcT
After about three months in Sapang, Raymond
was brought to Camp Tecson under the 24th
Infantry Battalion. He was fetched by three
unidentified men in a big white vehicle. Efren
went with them. Raymond was then blindfolded.
After a 30-minute ride, his blindfold was removed.
Chains were put on him and he was kept in the
barracks. 35
The next day, Raymond's chains were removed
and he was ordered to clean outside the barracks.
It was then he learned that he was in a
detachment of the Rangers. There were many
soldiers, hundreds of them were training. He was
also ordered to clean inside the barracks. In one
of the rooms therein, he met Sherlyn Cadapan
from Laguna. She told him that she was a student
of the University of the Philippines and was
abducted in Hagonoy, Bulacan. She confided that
23 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

she had been subjected to severe torture and


raped. She was crying and longing to go home
and be with her parents. During the day, her
chains were removed and she was made to do
the laundry. 36
After a week, Reynaldo was also brought to Camp
Tecson. Two days from his arrival, two other
captives, Karen Empeo and Manuel Merino,
arrived. Karen and Manuel were put in the room
with "Allan" whose name they later came to know
as
Donald
Caigas,
called
"master"
or
"commander" by his men in the 24th Infantry
Battalion. Raymond and Reynaldo were put in the
adjoining room. At times, Raymond and Reynaldo
were threatened, and Reynaldo was beaten up. In
the daytime, their chains were removed, but were
put back on at night. They were threatened that if
they escaped, their families would all be killed. 37
On or about October 6, 2006, Hilario arrived in
Camp Tecson. He told the detainees that they
should be thankful they were still alive and
should continue along their "renewed life". Before
the hearing of November 6 or 8, 2006,
respondents were brought to their parents to
instruct them not to attend the hearing. However,
their parents had already left for Manila.
Respondents were brought back to Camp Tecson.
They stayed in that camp from September 2006
to November 2006, and Raymond was instructed
to continue using the name "Oscar" and holding
himself out as a military trainee. He got
acquainted with soldiers of the 24th Infantry
Battalion whose names and descriptions he
stated in his affidavit. 38
On November 22, 2006, respondents, along with
Sherlyn, Karen, and Manuel, were transferred to a
camp of the 24th Infantry Battalion in Limay,
Bataan. There were many huts in the camp. They
stayed in that camp until May 8, 2007. Some
soldiers of the battalion stayed with them. While
there, battalion soldiers whom Raymond knew as
"Mar" and "Billy" beat him up and hit him in the
stomach with their guns. Sherlyn and Karen also
suffered enormous torture in the camp. They
were all made to clean, cook, and help in raising
livestock. 39
Raymond recalled that when "Operation Lubog"
was launched, Caigas and some other soldiers
brought him and Manuel with them to take and
kill all sympathizers of the NPA. They were
brought to Barangay Bayan-bayanan, Bataan
where he witnessed the killing of an old man
doing kaingin. The soldiers said he was killed
because he had a son who was a member of the
NPA and he coddled NPA members in his house.
40 Another time, in another "Operation Lubog",
Raymond was brought to Barangay Orion in a
house where NPA men stayed. When they arrived,
only the old man of the house who was sick was
there. They spared him and killed only his son
right before Raymond's eyes. 41 CaTSEA

From Limay, Raymond, Reynaldo, Sherlyn, Karen,


and Manuel were transferred to Zambales, in a
safehouse near the sea. Caigas and some of his
men stayed with them. A retired army soldier was
in charge of the house. Like in Limay, the five
detainees were made to do errands and chores.
They stayed in Zambales from May 8 or 9, 2007
until June 2007. 42

Tinanggal ang aming kadena. Kinausap kami ni


Donald. Tinanong kami kung ano ang sabi ni
Manuel sa amin. Sabi ni Donald huwag na raw
naming hanapin ang dalawang babae at si
Manuel, dahil magkakasama na yung tatlo. Sabi
pa ni Donald na kami ni Reynaldo ay magbagong
buhay at ituloy namin ni Reynaldo ang trabaho.
Sa gabi, hindi na kami kinakadena. 43

In June 2007, Caigas brought the five back to the


camp in Limay. Raymond, Reynaldo, and Manuel
were tasked to bring food to detainees brought to
the camp. Raymond narrated what he witnessed
and experienced in the camp, viz.:

On or about June 13, 2007, Raymond and


Reynaldo were brought to Pangasinan, ostensibly
to raise poultry for Donald (Caigas). Caigas told
respondents to also farm his land, in exchange for
which, he would take care of the food of their
family. They were also told that they could farm a
small plot adjoining his land and sell their
produce. They were no longer put in chains and
were instructed to use the names Rommel (for
Raymond) and Rod (for Reynaldo) and represent
themselves as cousins from Rizal, Laguna. 44

Isang gabi, sinabihan kami ni Donald (Caigas) na


matulog na kami. Nakita ko si Donald na inaayos
ang kanyang baril, at nilagyan ng silenser. Sabi ni
Donald na kung mayroon man kaming makita o
marinig, walang nangyari. Kinaumagahan, nakita
naming ang bangkay ng isa sa mga bihag na
dinala sa kampo. Mayroong binuhos sa kanyang
katawan at ito'y sinunog. Masansang ang amoy.
Makaraan ang isang lingo, dalawang bangkay and
ibinaba ng mga unipormadong sundalo mula sa 6
x 6 na trak at dinala sa loob ng kampo. May
naiwang mga bakas ng dugo habang hinihila nila
ang mga bangkay. Naamoy ko iyon nang nililinis
ang bakas.
Makalipas ang isa o dalawang lingo, may dinukot
sila na dalawang Ita. Itinali sila sa labas ng kubo,
piniringan, ikinadena at labis na binugbog. Nakita
kong nakatakas ang isa sa kanila at binaril siya
ng sundalo ngunit hindi siya tinamaan. Iyong gabi
nakita kong pinatay nila iyong isang Ita malapit
sa Post 3; sinilaban ang bangkay at ibinaon ito.
Pagkalipas ng halos 1 buwan, 2 pang bangkay
ang dinala sa kampo. Ibinaba ang mga bangkay
mula sa pick up trak, dinala ang mga bangkay sa
labas ng bakod. Kinaumagahan nakita kong
mayroong sinilaban, at napakamasangsang ang
amoy.
May nakilala rin akong 1 retiradong koronel at 1
kasama niya. Pinakain ko sila. Sabi nila sa akin na
dinukot sila sa Bataan. Iyong gabi, inilabas sila at
hindi ko na sila nakita. ADHcTE
xxx xxx xxx
Ikinadena kami ng 3 araw. Sa ikatlong araw,
nilabas ni Lat si Manuel dahil kakausapin daw siya
ni Gen. Palparan. Nakapiring si Manuel, wala
siyang suot pang-itaas, pinosasan. Nilakasan ng
mga sundalo ang tunog na galing sa istiryo ng
sasakyan. Di nagtagal, narinig ko ang hiyaw o
ungol ni Manuel. Sumilip ako sa isang haligi ng
kamalig at nakita kong sinisilaban si Manuel.
Kinaumagahan, naka-kadena pa kami. Tinanggal
ang mga kadena mga 3 o 4 na araw pagkalipas.
Sinabi sa amin na kaya kami nakakadena ay dahil
pinagdedesisyunan pa ng mga sundalo kung
papatayin kami o hindi.

24 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

Respondents started to plan their escape. They


could see the highway from where they stayed.
They helped farm adjoining lands for which they
were paid Php200.00 or Php400.00 and they
saved their earnings. When they had saved
Php1,000.00 each, Raymond asked a neighbor
how he could get a cellular phone as he wanted
to exchange text messages with a girl who lived
nearby. A phone was pawned to him, but he kept
it first and did not use it. They earned some more
until they had saved Php1,400.00 between them.
CTcSAE
There were four houses in the compound.
Raymond and Reynaldo were housed in one of
them while their guards lived in the other three.
Caigas entrusted respondents to Nonong, the
head of the guards. Respondents' house did not
have electricity. They used a lamp. There was no
television, but they had a radio. In the evening of
August 13, 2007, Nonong and his cohorts had a
drinking session. At about 1:00 a.m., Raymond
turned up the volume of the radio. When none of
the guards awoke and took notice, Raymond and
Reynaldo proceeded towards the highway,
leaving behind their sleeping guards and barking
dogs. They boarded a bus bound for Manila and
were thus freed from captivity. 45
Reynaldo also executed an affidavit affirming the
contents of Raymond's affidavit insofar as they
related to matters they witnessed together.
Reynaldo added that when they were taken from
their house on February 14, 2006, he saw the
faces of his abductors before he was blindfolded
with his shirt. He also named the soldiers he got
acquainted with in the 18 months he was
detained. When Raymond attempted to escape
from Fort Magsaysay, Reynaldo was severely
beaten up and told that they were indeed
members of the NPA because Raymond escaped.
With a .45 caliber pistol, Reynaldo was hit on the
back and punched in the face until he could no
longer bear the pain.
At one point during their detention, when
Raymond and Reynaldo were in Sapang,
Reynaldo was separated from Raymond and

brought to Pinaud by Rizal Hilario. He was kept in


the house of Kapitan, a friend of Hilario, in a
mountainous area. He was instructed to use the
name "Rodel" and to represent himself as a
military trainee from Meycauayan, Bulacan.
Sometimes, Hilario brought along Reynaldo in his
trips. One time, he was brought to a market in
San Jose, del Monte, Bulacan and made to wait in
the vehicle while Hilario was buying. He was also
brought to Tondo, Manila where Hilario delivered
boxes of "Alive" in different houses. In these trips,
Hilario drove a black and red vehicle. Reynaldo
was blindfolded while still in Bulacan, but allowed
to remove the blindfold once outside the
province. In one of their trips, they passed by Fort
Magsaysay and Camp Tecson where Reynaldo
saw the sign board, "Welcome to Camp Tecson".
46 AEIcSa
Dr. Benito Molino, M.D., corroborated the
accounts of respondents Raymond and Reynaldo
Manalo. Dr. Molino specialized in forensic
medicine and was connected with the Medical
Action Group, an organization handling cases of
human rights violations, particularly cases where
torture was involved. He was requested by an
NGO to conduct medical examinations on the
respondents after their escape. He first asked
them about their ordeal, then proceeded with the
physical examination. His findings showed that
the scars borne by respondents were consistent
with their account of physical injuries inflicted
upon them. The examination was conducted on
August 15, 2007, two days after respondents'
escape, and the results thereof were reduced into
writing. Dr. Molino took photographs of the scars.
He testified that he followed the Istanbul Protocol
in conducting the examination. 47
Petitioners dispute respondents' account of their
alleged abduction and torture. In compliance with
the October 25, 2007 Resolution of the Court,
they filed a Return of the Writ of Amparo
admitting the abduction but denying any
involvement therein, viz.:
13. Petitioners Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo
were not at any time arrested, forcibly abducted,
detained, held incommunicado, disappeared or
under the custody by the military. This is a settled
issue laid to rest in the habeas corpus case filed
in their behalf by petitioners' parents before the
Court of Appeals in C.A.-G.R. SP No. 94431
against M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario aka Rollie Castillo, as
head of the 24th Infantry Battalion; Maj. Gen.
Jovito Palparan, as Commander of the 7th Infantry
Division in Luzon; Lt. Gen. Hermogenes Esperon,
in his capacity as the Commanding General of the
Philippine Army, and members of the Citizens
Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU),
namely: Michael dela Cruz, Puti dela Cruz,
Madning dela Cruz, Pula dela Cruz, Randy
Mendoza and Rudy Mendoza. The respondents
therein submitted a return of the writ. . . On July
4, 2006, the Court of Appeals dropped as party
respondents Lt. Gen. Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr.,
then Commanding General of the Philippine
Army, and on September 19, 2006, Maj. (sic)
Jovito S. Palparan, then Commanding General, 7th
25 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

Infantry Division, Philippine Army, stationed at


Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija, upon
a finding that no evidence was introduced to
establish their personal involvement in the taking
of the Manalo brothers. In a Decision dated June
27, 2007. . ., it exonerated M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario aka
Rollie Castillo for lack of evidence establishing his
involvement in any capacity in the disappearance
of the Manalo brothers, although it held that the
remaining respondents were illegally detaining
the Manalo brothers and ordered them to release
the latter. 48 HIaTCc
Attached to the Return of the Writ was the
affidavit of therein respondent (herein petitioner)
Secretary of National Defense, which attested
that he assumed office only on August 8, 2007
and was thus unaware of the Manalo brothers'
alleged abduction. He also claimed that:
7. The Secretary of National Defense does not
engage in actual military directional operations,
neither does he undertake command directions of
the AFP units in the field, nor in any way
micromanage the AFP operations. The principal
responsibility of the Secretary of National
Defense is focused in providing strategic policy
direction to the Department (bureaus and
agencies) including the Armed Forces of the
Philippines;
8. In connection with the Writ of Amparo issued
by the Honorable Supreme Court in this case, I
have directed the Chief of Staff, AFP to institute
immediate action in compliance with Section 9(d)
of the Amparo Rule and to submit report of such
compliance. . . Likewise, in a Memorandum
Directive also dated October 31, 2007, I have
issued a policy directive addressed to the Chief of
Staff, AFP that the AFP should adopt the following
rules of action in the event the Writ of Amparo is
issued by a competent court against any
members of the AFP:

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


(2) 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;
(3) to identify witnesses and obtain statements
from
them
concerning
the
death
or
disappearance;
(4) 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;
(5) to identify and apprehend the person or
persons involved in the death or disappearance;
and
(6) to bring the suspected offenders before a
competent court. 49

Therein respondent AFP Chief of Staff also


submitted his own affidavit, attached to the
Return of the Writ, attesting that he received the
above directive of therein respondent Secretary
of National Defense and that acting on this
directive, he did the following:
3.1. As currently designated Chief of Staff, Armed
Forces of the Philippines (AFP), I have caused to
be issued directive to the units of the AFP for the
purpose of establishing the circumstances of the
alleged
disappearance
and
the
recent
reappearance of the petitioners.
3.2. I have caused the immediate investigation
and submission of the result thereof to Higher
headquarters and/or direct the immediate
conduct of the investigation on the matter by the
concerned unit/s, dispatching Radio Message on
November
05,
2007,
addressed
to
the
Commanding General, Philippine Army (Info:
COMNOLCOM, CG, 71D PA and CO 24 IB PA). A
Copy of the Radio Message is attached as ANNEX
"3" of this Affidavit. TSacCH
3.3. We undertake to provide result of the
investigations conducted or to be conducted by
the concerned unit relative to the circumstances
of the alleged disappearance of the persons in
whose favor the Writ of Amparo has been sought
for as soon as the same has been furnished
Higher headquarters.
3.4. A parallel investigation has been directed to
the same units relative to another Petition for the
Writ of Amparo (G.R. No. 179994) filed at the
instance of relatives of a certain Cadapan and
Empeo pending before the Supreme Court.
3.5. On the part of the Armed Forces, this
respondent will exert earnest efforts to establish
the
surrounding
circumstances
of
the
disappearances of the petitioners and to bring
those
responsible,
including
any
military
personnel if shown to have participated or had
complicity in the commission of the complained
acts, to the bar of justice, when warranted by the
findings and the competent evidence that may be
gathered in the process. 50
Also attached to the Return of the Writ was the
affidavit of Lt. Col. Felipe Anontado, INF (GSC) PA,
earlier filed in G.R. No. 179994, another amparo
case in this Court, involving Cadapan, Empeo
and Merino, which averred among others, viz.:
10) Upon reading the allegations in the Petition
implicating
the
24th
Infantry
Batallion
detachment as detention area, I immediately
went to the 24th IB detachment in Limay, Bataan
and found no untoward incidents in the area nor
any detainees by the name of Sherlyn Cadapan,
Karen Empeo and Manuel Merino being held
captive;
11) There was neither any reports of any death of
Manuel Merino in the 24th IB in Limay, Bataan;

26 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

12) After going to the 24th IB in Limay, Bataan,


we made further inquiries with the Philippine
National Police, Limay, Bataan regarding the
alleged detentions or deaths and were informed
that none was reported to their good office;
13) I also directed Company Commander 1st Lt.
Romeo Publico to inquire into the alleged
beachhouse in Iba, Zambales also alleged to be a
detention place where Sherlyn Cadapan, Karen
Empeo and Manuel Merino were detained. As
per the inquiry, however, no such beachhouse
was used as a detention place found to have
been used by armed men to detain Cadapan,
Empeo and Merino. 51
It was explained in the Return of the Writ that for
lack of sufficient time, the affidavits of Maj. Gen
Jovito S. Palparan (Ret.), M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario aka
Rollie Castillo, and other persons implicated by
therein petitioners could not be secured in time
for the submission of the Return and would be
subsequently submitted. 52
Herein petitioners presented a lone witness in the
summary hearings, Lt. Col. Ruben U. Jimenez,
Provost Marshall, 7th Infantry Division, Philippine
Army, based in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City,
Nueva Ecija. The territorial jurisdiction of this
Division covers Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Bataan,
Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac and a portion of
Pangasinan. 53 The 24th Infantry Battalion is part
of the 7th Infantry Division. 54 cCAIES
On May 26, 2006, Lt. Col. Jimenez was directed by
the Commanding General of the 7th Infantry
Division, Maj. Gen. Jovito Palaran, 55 through his
Assistant Chief of Staff, 56 to investigate the
alleged abduction of the respondents by CAFGU
auxiliaries under his unit, namely: CAA Michael de
la Cruz; CAA Roman de la Cruz, aka Puti; CAA
Maximo de la Cruz, aka Pula; CAA Randy
Mendoza; ex-CAA Marcelo de la Cruz aka
Madning; and a civilian named Rudy Mendoza. He
was directed to determine: (1) the veracity of the
abduction of Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo by
the alleged elements of the CAFGU auxiliaries;
and (2) the administrative liability of said
auxiliaries, if any. 57 Jimenez testified that this
particular investigation was initiated not by a
complaint as was the usual procedure, but
because the Commanding General saw news
about the abduction of the Manalo brothers on
the television, and he was concerned about what
was happening within his territorial jurisdiction.
58
Jimenez summoned all six implicated persons for
the purpose of having them execute sworn
statements and conducting an investigation on
May 29, 2006. 59 The investigation started at
8:00 in the morning and finished at 10:00 in the
evening. 60 The investigating officer, Technical
Sgt. Eduardo Lingad, took the individual sworn
statements of all six persons on that day. There
were no other sworn statements taken, not even
of the Manalo family, nor were there other
witnesses summoned and investigated 61 as

according to Jimenez, the directive to him was


only to investigate the six persons. 62
Jimenez was beside Lingad when the latter took
the statements. 63 The six persons were not
known to Jimenez as it was in fact his first time to
meet them. 64 During the entire time that he was
beside Lingad, a subordinate of his in the Office
of the Provost Marshall, Jimenez did not propound
a single question to the six persons. 65
Jimenez testified that all six statements were
taken on May 29, 2006, but Marcelo Mendoza and
Rudy Mendoza had to come back the next day to
sign their statements as the printing of their
statements was interrupted by a power failure.
Jimenez testified that the two signed on May 30,
2006, but the jurats of their statements indicated
that they were signed on May 29, 2006. 66 When
the Sworn Statements were turned over to
Jimenez, he personally wrote his investigation
report. He began writing it in the afternoon of
May 30, 2006 and finished it on June 1, 2006. 67
He then gave his report to the Office of the Chief
of Personnel. 68 HacADE
As petitioners largely rely on Jimenez's
Investigation Report dated June 1, 2006 for their
evidence, the report is herein substantially
quoted:
III. BACKGROUND OF THE CASE
4. This pertains to the abduction of RAYMOND
MANALO and REYNALDO MANALO who were
forcibly taken from their respective homes in
Brgy. Buhol na Mangga, San Ildefonso, Bulacan on
14 February 2006 by unidentified armed men and
thereafter were forcibly disappeared. After the
said incident, relatives of the victims filed a case
for Abduction in the civil court against the herein
suspects: Michael dela Cruz, Madning dela Cruz,
Puti Dela Cruz, Pula Dela Cruz, Randy Mendoza
and Rudy Mendoza as alleged members of the
Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU).
a) Sworn statement of CAA Maximo F. dela Cruz,
aka Pula dated 29 May 2006 in (Exhibit "B")
states that he was at Sitio Mozon, Brgy. Bohol na
Mangga, San Ildefonso, Bulacan doing the
concrete building of a church located nearby his
residence, together with some neighbor thereat.
He claims that on 15 February 2006, he was
being informed by Brgy. Kagawad Pablo Umayan
about the abduction of the brothers Raymond and
Reynaldo Manalo. As to the allegation that he was
one of the suspects, he claims that they only
implicated him because he was a CAFGU and that
they claimed that those who abducted the
Manalo brothers are members of the Military and
CAFGU.
Subject
vehemently
denied
any
participation or involvement on the abduction of
said victims.
b) Sworn statement of CAA Roman dela Cruz y
Faustino Aka Puti dtd 29 May 2006 in (Exhibit "C")
states that he is a resident of Sitio Muzon, Brgy.
Buhol na Mangga, San Ildefonso, Bulacan and a
CAA member based at Biak na Bato Detachment,
27 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

San Miguel, Bulacan. He claims that Raymond


and Reynaldo Manalo being his neighbors are
active members/sympathizers of the CPP/NPA and
he also knows their elder Rolando Manalo @ KA
BESTRE of being an NPA Leader operating in their
province. That at the time of the alleged
abduction of the two (2) brothers and for
accusing him to be one of the suspects, he claims
that on February 14, 2006, he was one of those
working at the concrete chapel being constructed
nearby his residence. He claims further that he
just came only to know about the incident on
other day (15 Feb 06) when he was being
informed by Kagawad Pablo Kunanan. That
subject CAA vehemently denied any participation
about the incident and claimed that they only
implicated him because he is a member of the
CAFGU. CAaDSI
c) Sworn Statement of CAA Randy Mendoza y
Lingas dated 29 May 2006 in (Exhibit "O") states
that he is a resident of Brgy. Buhol na Mangga,
San Ildefonso, Bulacan and a member of CAFGU
based at Biak na Bato Detachment. That being a
neighbor, he was very much aware about the
background of the two (2) brothers Raymond and
Reynaldo as active supporters of the CPP NPA in
their Brgy. and he also knew their elder brother
"KUMANDER BESTRE" TN: Rolando Manalo. Being
one of the accused, he claims that on 14 February
2006, he was at Brgy. Magmarate, San Miguel,
Bulacan in the house of his aunt and he learned
only about the incident when he arrived home in
their place. He claims further that the only reason
why they implicated him was due to the fact that
his mother has filed a criminal charge against
their brother Rolando Manalo @ KA BESTRE who
is an NPA Commander who killed his father and
for that reason they implicated him in support of
their brother. Subject CAA vehemently denied any
involvement on the abduction of said Manalo
brothers.

d) Sworn Statement of Rudy Mendoza y Lingasa


dated May 29, 2006 in (Exhibit "E") states that he
is a resident of Brgy. Marungko, Angat, Bulacan.
He claims that Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo
are familiar to him being his barriomate when he
was still unmarried and he knew them since
childhood. Being one of the accused, he claims
that on 14 February 2006, he was at his residence
in Brgy. Marungko, Angat, Bulacan. He claims that
he was being informed only about the incident
lately and he was not aware of any reason why
the two (2) brothers were being abducted by
alleged members of the military and CAFGU. The
only reason he knows why they implicated him
was because there are those people who are
angry with their family particularly victims of
summary execution (killing) done by their brother
@ KA Bestre Rolando Manalo who is an NPA
leader. He claims further that it was their brother
@ KA BESTRE who killed his father and he was
living witness to that incident. Subject civilian
vehemently denied any involvement on the
abduction of the Manalo brothers.

e) Sworn statement of Ex-CAA Marcelo dala Cruz


dated 29 May 2006 in (Exhibit "F") states that he
is a resident of Sitio Muzon, Brgy. Buhol na
Mangga, San Ildefonso, Bulacan, a farmer and a
former CAA based at Biak na Bato, San Miguel,
Bulacan. He claims that Raymond and Reynaldo
Manalo are familiar to him being their barrio
mate. He claims further that they are active
supporters of CPP/NPA and that their brother
Rolando Manalo @ KA BESTRE is an NPA leader.
Being one of the accused, he claims that on 14
February 2006, he was in his residence at Sitio
Muzon, Brgy. Buhol na Mangga, San Ildefonso,
Bulacan. That he vehemently denied any
participation of the alleged abduction of the two
(2) brothers and learned only about the incident
when rumors reached him by his barrio mates. He
claims that his implication is merely fabricated
because of his relationship to Roman and Maximo
who are his brothers. SaETCI

would not also mean, however, that in the first


place, they were in connivance with the
abductors. Being their neighbors and as members
of CAFGU's, they ought to be vigilant in
protecting their village from any intervention by
the leftist group, hence inside their village, they
were fully aware of the activities of Raymond and
Reynaldo Manalo in so far as their connection
with the CPP/NPA is concerned.

f) Sworn statement of Michael dela Cruz y


Faustino dated 29 May 2006 in (Exhibit "G")
states that he is a resident of Sitio Muzon, Brgy.
Buhol na Mangga, San Ildefonso, Bulacan, the
Chief of Brgy. Tanod and a CAFGU member based
at Biak na Bato Detachment, San Miguel,
Bulacan. He claims that he knew very well the
brothers Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo in their
barangay for having been the Tanod Chief for
twenty (20) years. He alleged further that they
are active supporters or sympathizers of the
CPP/NPA and whose elder brother Rolando Manalo
@ KA BESTRE is an NPA leader operating within
the area. Being one of the accused, he claims
that on 14 Feb 2006 he was helping in the
construction of their concrete chapel in their
place and he learned only about the incident
which is the abduction of Raymond and Reynaldo
Manalo when one of the Brgy. Kagawad in the
person of Pablo Cunanan informed him about the
matter. He claims further that he is truly innocent
of the allegation against him as being one of the
abductors and he considers everything fabricated
in order to destroy his name that remains loyal to
his service to the government as a CAA member.

VI. RECOMMENDATIONS

IV. DISCUSSION
5. Based on the foregoing statements of
respondents in this particular case, the proof of
linking them to the alleged abduction and
disappearance of Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo
that transpired on 14 February 2006 at Sitio
Muzon, Brgy. Buhol na Mangga, San Ildefonso,
Bulacan, is unsubstantiated. Their alleged
involvement theretofore to that incident is
considered doubtful, hence, no basis to indict
them as charged in this investigation.
Though there are previous grudges between each
families (sic) in the past to quote: the killing of
the father of Randy and Rudy Mendoza by @ KA
BESTRE TN: Rolando Manalo, this will not suffice
to establish a fact that they were the ones who
did the abduction as a form of revenge. As it was
also stated in the testimony of other accused
claiming
that
the
Manalos
are
active
sympathizers/supporters of the CPP/NPA, this
28 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

V. CONCLUSION
6. Premises considered surrounding this case
shows that the alleged charges of abduction
committed by the above named respondents has
not been established in this investigation. Hence,
it lacks merit to indict them for any
administrative
punishment
and/or
criminal
liability. It is therefore concluded that they are
innocent of the charge.

7. That CAAs Michael F. dela Cruz, Maximo F. Dela


Cruz, Roman dela Cruz, Randy Mendoza, and two
(2) civilians Maximo F. Dela Cruz and Rudy L.
Mendoza be exonerated from the case.
8. Upon approval, this case can be dropped and
closed. 69
In this appeal under Rule 45, petitioners question
the appellate court's assessment of the foregoing
evidence and assail the December 26, 2007
Decision on the following grounds, viz.:
I.
THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY AND
GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN BELIEVING AND GIVING
FULL FAITH AND CREDIT TO THE INCREDIBLE,
UNCORROBORATED,
CONTRADICTED,
AND
OBVIOUSLY SCRIPTED, REHEARSED AND SELFSERVING AFFIDAVIT/TESTIMONY OF HEREIN
RESPONDENT RAYMOND MANALO.
II.
THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY AND
GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN REQUIRING RESPONDENTS
(HEREIN PETITIONERS) TO: (A) FURNISH TO THE
MANALO BROTHER(S) AND TO THE COURT OF
APPEALS ALL OFFICIAL AND UNOFFICIAL REPORTS
OF
THE
INVESTIGATION
UNDERTAKEN
IN
CONNECTION WITH THEIR CASE, EXCEPT THOSE
ALREADY IN FILE WITH THE COURT; (B) CONFIRM
IN WRITING THE PRESENT PLACES OF OFFICIAL
ASSIGNMENT OF M/SGT. HILARIO aka ROLLIE
CASTILLO AND DONALD CAIGAS; AND (C) CAUSE
TO BE PRODUCED TO THE COURT OF APPEALS
ALL MEDICAL REPORTS, RECORDS AND CHARTS,
AND REPORTS OF ANY TREATMENT GIVEN OR
RECOMMENDED AND MEDICINES PRESCRIBED, IF
ANY, TO THE MANALO BROTHERS, TO INCLUDE A
LIST OF MEDICAL PERSONNEL (MILITARY AND
CIVILIAN) WHO ATTENDED TO THEM FROM
FEBRUARY 14, 2006 UNTIL AUGUST 12, 2007. 70

The case at bar is the first decision on the


application of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo
(Amparo Rule). Let us hearken to its beginning.
The adoption of the Amparo Rule surfaced as a
recurring proposition in the recommendations
that
resulted
from
a
two-day
National
Consultative Summit on Extrajudicial Killings and
Enforced Disappearances sponsored by the Court
on July 16-17, 2007. The Summit was "envisioned
to provide a broad and fact-based perspective on
the issue of extrajudicial killings and enforced
disappearances", 71 hence "representatives from
all sides of the political and social spectrum, as
well as all the stakeholders in the justice system"
72 participated in mapping out ways to resolve
the crisis. aTAEHc
On October 24, 2007, the Court promulgated the
Amparo Rule "in light of the prevalence of
extralegal killing and enforced disappearances."
73 It was an exercise for the first time of the
Court's expanded power to promulgate rules to
protect our people's constitutional rights, which
made its maiden appearance in the 1987
Constitution in response to the Filipino experience
of the martial law regime. 74 As the Amparo Rule
was intended to address the intractable problem
of
"extralegal
killings"
and
"enforced
disappearances", its coverage, in its present
form, is confined to these two instances or to
threats thereof. "Extralegal killings" are "killings
committed without due process of law, i.e.,
without legal safeguards or judicial proceedings."
75 On the other hand, "enforced disappearances"
are "attended by the following characteristics: an
arrest, detention or abduction of a person by a
government official or organized groups or
private individuals acting with the direct or
indirect acquiescence of the government; the
refusal of the State to disclose the fate or
whereabouts of the person concerned or a refusal
to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty which
places such persons outside the protection of
law." 76
The writ of amparo originated in Mexico.
"Amparo" literally means "protection" in Spanish.
77 In 1837, de Tocqueville's Democracy in
America became available in Mexico and stirred
great interest. Its description of the practice of
judicial review in the U.S. appealed to many
Mexican jurists. 78 One of them, Manuel
Crescencio Rejn, drafted a constitutional
provision for his native state, Yucatan, 79 which
granted judges the power to protect all persons in
the enjoyment of their constitutional and legal
rights. This idea was incorporated into the
national constitution in 1847, viz.:
The federal courts shall protect any inhabitant of
the Republic in the exercise and preservation of
those rights granted to him by this Constitution
and by laws enacted pursuant hereto, against
attacks by the Legislative and Executive powers
of the federal or state governments, limiting
themselves to granting protection in the specific
case in litigation, making no general declaration
29 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

concerning the statute or


motivated the violation. 80

regulation

that

Since then, the protection has been an important


part of Mexican constitutionalism. 81 If, after
hearing,
the
judge
determines
that
a
constitutional right of the petitioner is being
violated, he orders the official, or the official's
superiors, to cease the violation and to take the
necessary measures to restore the petitioner to
the full enjoyment of the right in question.
Amparo thus combines the principles of judicial
review derived from the U.S. with the limitations
on judicial power characteristic of the civil law
tradition which prevails in Mexico. It enables
courts to enforce the constitution by protecting
individual rights in particular cases, but prevents
them from using this power to make law for the
entire nation. 82

The writ of amparo then spread throughout the


Western Hemisphere, gradually evolving into
various forms, in response to the particular needs
of each country. 83 It became, in the words of a
justice of the Mexican Federal Supreme Court,
one piece of Mexico's self-attributed "task of
conveying to the world's legal heritage that
institution which, as a shield of human dignity,
her own painful history conceived." 84 What
began as a protection against acts or omissions
of public authorities in violation of constitutional
rights later evolved for several purposes: (1)
amparo libertad for the protection of personal
freedom, equivalent to the habeas corpus writ;
(2) amparo contra leyes for the judicial review of
the constitutionality of statutes; (3) amparo
casacion for the judicial review of the
constitutionality and legality of a judicial decision;
(4) amparo administrativo for the judicial review
of administrative actions; and (5) amparo agrario
for the protection of peasants' rights derived from
the agrarian reform process. 85 cIHSTC
In Latin American countries, except Cuba, the writ
of amparo has been constitutionally adopted to
protect against human rights abuses especially
committed in countries under military juntas. In
general, these countries adopted an allencompassing writ to protect the whole gamut of
constitutional rights, including socio-economic
rights. 86 Other countries like Colombia, Chile,
Germany and Spain, however, have chosen to
limit the protection of the writ of amparo only to
some constitutional guarantees or fundamental
rights. 87
In the Philippines, while the 1987 Constitution
does not explicitly provide for the writ of amparo,
several of the above amparo protections are
guaranteed by our charter. The second paragraph
of Article VIII, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution,
the Grave Abuse Clause, provides for the judicial
power "to determine whether or not there has
been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any
branch or instrumentality of the Government."
The Clause accords a similar general protection to

human rights extended by the amparo contra


leyes,
amparo
casacion,
and
amparo
administrativo. Amparo libertad is comparable to
the remedy of habeas corpus found in several
provisions of the 1987 Constitution. 88 The
Clause is an offspring of the U.S. common law
tradition of judicial review, which finds its roots in
the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison. 89
While constitutional rights can be protected under
the Grave Abuse Clause through remedies of
injunction or prohibition under Rule 65 of the
Rules of Court and a petition for habeas corpus
under Rule 102, 90 these remedies may not be
adequate to address the pestering problem of
extralegal killings and enforced disappearances.
However, with the swiftness required to resolve a
petition for a writ of amparo through summary
proceedings and the availability of appropriate
interim and permanent reliefs under the Amparo
Rule, this hybrid writ of the common law and civil
law traditions borne out of the Latin American
and Philippine experience of human rights abuses
offers a better remedy to extralegal killings
and enforced disappearances and threats thereof.
The remedy provides rapid judicial relief as it
partakes of a summary proceeding that requires
only
substantial
evidence
to
make
the
appropriate reliefs available to the petitioner; it is
not an action to determine criminal guilt requiring
proof beyond reasonable doubt, or liability for
damages requiring preponderance of evidence, or
administrative responsibility requiring substantial
evidence that will require full and exhaustive
proceedings. 91 caTESD

With this backdrop, we now come to the


arguments of the petitioner. Petitioners' first
argument in disputing the Decision of the Court of
Appeals states, viz.:
The Court of Appeals seriously and grievously
erred in believing and giving full faith and credit
to the incredible uncorroborated, contradicted,
and obviously scripted, rehearsed and selfserving affidavit/testimony of herein respondent
Raymond Manalo. 94
In delving into the veracity of the evidence, we
need to mine and refine the ore of petitioners'
cause of action, to determine whether the
evidence presented is metal-strong to satisfy the
degree of proof required.
Section 1 of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo
provides for the following causes of action, viz.:
AaCTcI
Section 1. Petition. The petition for a writ of
amparo is a remedy available to any person
whose right to life, liberty and security is 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.
(emphasis supplied)
Sections 17 and 18, on the other hand, provide
for the degree of proof required, viz.:

The writ of amparo serves both preventive and


curative roles in addressing the problem of
extralegal 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. In the long run, the goal of both the
preventive and curative roles is to deter the
further commission of extralegal killings and
enforced disappearances.

Sec. 17. Burden of Proof and Standard of


Diligence Required. The parties shall establish
their claims by substantial evidence.

In the case at bar, respondents initially filed an


action for "Prohibition, Injunction, and Temporary
Restraining Order" 92 to stop petitioners and/or
their officers and agents from depriving the
respondents of their right to liberty and other
basic rights on August 23, 2007, 93 prior to the
promulgation of the Amparo Rule. They also
sought ancillary remedies including Protective
Custody Orders, Appointment of Commissioner,
Inspection and Access Orders and other legal and
equitable remedies under Article VIII, Section 5
(5) of the 1987 Constitution and Rule 135, Section
6 of the Rules of Court. When the Amparo Rule
came into effect on October 24, 2007, they
moved to have their petition treated as an
amparo petition as it would be more effective and
suitable to the circumstances of the Manalo
brothers' enforced disappearance. The Court
granted their motion.

Substantial evidence has been defined as such


relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion. 95
After careful perusal of the evidence presented,
we affirm the findings of the Court of Appeals that
respondents were abducted from their houses in
Sito Muzon, Brgy. Buhol na Mangga, San
Ildefonso, Bulacan on February 14, 2006 and
were continuously detained until they escaped on
August 13, 2007. The abduction, detention,
torture, and escape of the respondents were
narrated by respondent Raymond Manalo in a
clear and convincing manner. His account is
dotted with countless candid details of
respondents' harrowing experience and tenacious
will to escape, captured through his different
senses and etched in his memory. A few
examples are the following: "Sumilip ako sa isang
haligi ng kamalig at nakita kong sinisilaban si
Manuel." 96 "(N)ilakasan ng mga sundalo ang

30 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

xxx xxx xxx


Sec. 18. Judgment. . . . If the allegations in the
petition are proven by substantial evidence, the
court shall grant the privilege of the writ and such
reliefs as may be proper and appropriate;
otherwise, the privilege shall be denied.
(emphases supplied)

tunog na galing sa istiryo ng sasakyan. Di


nagtagal, narinig ko ang hiyaw o ungol ni
Manuel." 97 "May naiwang mga bakas ng dugo
habang hinihila nila ang mga bangkay. Naamoy
ko iyon nang nililinis ang bakas." 98 "Tumigil ako
sa may palaisdaan kung saan ginamit ko ang
bato para tanggalin ang mga kadena." 99
"Tinanong ko sa isang kapit-bahay kung paano
ako makakakuha ng cell phone; sabi ko gusto
kong i-text ang isang babae na nakatira sa
malapit na lugar." 100
We affirm the factual findings of the appellate
court, largely based on respondent Raymond
Manalo's affidavit and testimony, viz.:
. . .the abduction was perpetrated by armed men
who were sufficiently identified by the petitioners
(herein respondents) to be military personnel and
CAFGU auxiliaries. Raymond recalled that the six
armed men who barged into his house through
the rear door were military men based on their
attire of fatigue pants and army boots, and the
CAFGU auxiliaries, namely: Michael de la Cruz,
Madning de la Cruz, Puti de la Cruz and Pula de la
Cruz, all members of the CAFGU and residents of
Muzon, San Ildefonso, Bulacan, and the brothers
Randy Mendoza and Rudy Mendoza, also CAFGU
members, served as lookouts during the
abduction. Raymond was sure that three of the
six military men were Ganata, who headed the
abducting team, Hilario, who drove the van, and
George. Subsequent incidents of their long
captivity, as narrated by the petitioners, validated
their assertion of the participation of the
elements of the 7th Infantry Division, Philippine
Army, and their CAFGU auxiliaries. ECISAD
We are convinced, too, that the reason for the
abduction was the suspicion that the petitioners
were either members or sympathizers of the NPA,
considering that the abductors were looking for
Ka Bestre, who turned out to be Rolando, the
brother of petitioners.
The efforts exerted by the Military Command to
look into the abduction were, at best, merely
superficial. The investigation of the Provost
Marshall of the 7th Infantry Division focused on
the one-sided version of the CAFGU auxiliaries
involved. This one-sidedness might be due to the
fact that the Provost Marshall could delve only
into the participation of military personnel, but
even then the Provost Marshall should have
refrained from outrightly exculpating the CAFGU
auxiliaries he perfunctorily investigated. . .

Gen. Palparan's participation in the abduction


was also established. At the very least, he was
aware of the petitioners' captivity at the hands of
men in uniform assigned to his command. In fact,
he or any other officer tendered no controversion
to the firm claim of Raymond that he (Gen.
Palparan) met them in person in a safehouse in
Bulacan and told them what he wanted them and
their parents to do or not to be doing. Gen.
Palparan's direct and personal role in the
31 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

abduction might not have been shown but his


knowledge of the dire situation of the petitioners
during their long captivity at the hands of military
personnel under his command bespoke of his
indubitable command policy that unavoidably
encouraged and not merely tolerated the
abduction of civilians without due process of law
and without probable cause. CSaITD
In the habeas proceedings, the Court, through the
Former Special Sixth Division (Justices Buzon,
chairman; Santiago-Lagman, Sr., member; and
Romilla-Lontok, Jr., member/ponente.) found no
clear and convincing evidence to establish that
M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario had anything to do with the
abduction or the detention. Hilario's involvement
could not, indeed, be then established after
Evangeline Francisco, who allegedly saw Hilario
drive the van in which the petitioners were
boarded and ferried following the abduction, did
not testify. (See the decision of the habeas
proceedings at rollo, p. 52)
However, in this case, Raymond attested that
Hilario drove the white L-300 van in which the
petitioners were brought away from their houses
on February 14, 2006. Raymond also attested
that Hilario participated in subsequent incidents
during the captivity of the petitioners, one of
which was when Hilario fetched them from Fort
Magsaysay on board a Revo and conveyed them
to a detachment in Pinaud, San Ildefonso,
Bulacan where they were detained for at least a
week in a house of strong materials (Exhibit D,
rollo, p. 205) and then Hilario (along with Efren)
brought them to Sapang, San Miguel, Bulacan on
board the Revo, to an unfinished house inside the
compound of Kapitan where they were kept for
more or less three months. (Exhibit D, rollo, p.
205) It was there where the petitioners came face
to face with Gen. Palparan. Hilario and Efren also
brought the petitioners one early morning to the
house of the petitioners' parents, where only
Raymond was presented to the parents to relay
the message from Gen. Palparan not to join
anymore rallies. On that occasion, Hilario warned
the parents that they would not again see their
sons should they join any rallies to denounce
human rights violations. (Exhibit D, rollo, pp. 205206) Hilario was also among four Master
Sergeants (the others being Arman, Ganata and
Cabalse) with whom Gen. Palparan conversed on
the occasion when Gen. Palparan required
Raymond to take the medicines for his health.
(Exhibit D, rollo, p. 206) There were other
occasions when the petitioners saw that Hilario
had a direct hand in their torture. IEAacS
It is clear, therefore, that the participation of
Hilario in the abduction and forced disappearance
of the petitioners was established. The
participation of other military personnel like
Arman, Ganata, Cabalse and Caigas, among
others, was similarly established.
xxx xxx xxx
As to the CAFGU auxiliaries, the habeas Court
found them personally involved in the abduction.

We also do, for, indeed, the evidence of their


participation is overwhelming. 101
We reject the claim of petitioners that respondent
Raymond
Manalo's
statements
were
not
corroborated by other independent and credible
pieces of evidence. 102 Raymond's affidavit and
testimony were corroborated by the affidavit of
respondent Reynaldo Manalo. The testimony and
medical reports prepared by forensic specialist
Dr. Molino, and the pictures of the scars left by
the physical injuries inflicted on respondents, 103
also corroborate respondents' accounts of the
torture they endured while in detention.
Respondent Raymond Manalo's familiarity with
the facilities in Fort Magsaysay such as the
"DTU", as shown in his testimony and confirmed
by Lt. Col. Jimenez to be the "Division Training
Unit", 104 firms up respondents' story that they
were detained for some time in said military
facility. ICaDHT
In Ortiz v. Guatemala, 105 a case decided by the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the
Commission considered similar evidence, among
others, in finding that complainant Sister Diana
Ortiz was abducted and tortured by agents of the
Guatemalan government. In this case, Sister Ortiz
was kidnapped and tortured in early November
1989. The Commission's findings of fact were
mostly based on the consistent and credible
statements, written and oral, made by Sister Ortiz
regarding her ordeal. 106 These statements were
supported by her recognition of portions of the
route they took when she was being driven out of
the military installation where she was detained.
107 She was also examined by a medical doctor
whose findings showed that the 111 circular
second degree burns on her back and abrasions
on her cheek coincided with her account of
cigarette burning and torture she suffered while
in detention. 108
With the secret nature of an enforced
disappearance and the torture perpetrated on the
victim during detention, it logically holds that
much of the information and evidence of the
ordeal will come from the victims themselves,
and the veracity of their account will depend on
their credibility and candidness in their written
and/or oral statements. Their statements can be
corroborated by other evidence such as physical
evidence left by the torture they suffered or
landmarks they can identify in the places where
they were detained. Where powerful military
officers are implicated, the hesitation of
witnesses to surface and testify against them
comes as no surprise.
We now come to the right of the respondents to
the privilege of the writ of amparo. There is no
quarrel that the enforced disappearance of both
respondents Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo has
now passed as they have escaped from captivity
and surfaced. But while respondents admit that
they are no longer in detention and are physically
free, they assert that they are not "free in every
sense of the word" 109 as their "movements
continue to be restricted for fear that people they
32 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

have named in their Judicial Affidavits and


testified against (in the case of Raymond) are still
at large and have not been held accountable in
any way. These people are directly connected to
the Armed Forces of the Philippines and are, thus,
in a position to threaten respondents' rights to
life, liberty and security." 110 (emphasis supplied)
Respondents claim that they are under threat of
being once again abducted, kept captive or even
killed, which constitute a direct violation of their
right to security of person. 111 ASHECD
Elaborating on the "right to security, in general",
respondents point out that this right is "often
associated with liberty"; it is also seen as an
"expansion of rights based on the prohibition
against
torture
and
cruel
and
unusual
punishment." Conceding that there is no right to
security expressly mentioned in Article III of the
1987 Constitution, they submit that their rights
"to be kept free from torture and from
incommunicado detention and solitary detention
places 112 fall under the general coverage of the
right to security of person under the writ of
Amparo." They submit that the Court ought to
give an expansive recognition of the right to
security of person in view of the State Policy
under Article II of the 1987 Constitution which
enunciates that, "The State values the dignity of
every human person and guarantees full respect
for human rights." Finally, to justify a liberal
interpretation of the right to security of person,
respondents cite the teaching in Moncupa v.
Enrile 113 that "the right to liberty may be made
more meaningful only if there is no undue
restraint by the State on the exercise of that
liberty" 114 such as a requirement to "report
under unreasonable restrictions that amounted to
a deprivation of liberty" 115 or being put under
"monitoring and surveillance". 116
In sum, respondents assert that their cause of
action consists in the threat to their right to life
and liberty, and a violation of their right to
security.
Let us put this right to security under the lens to
determine if it has indeed been violated as
respondents assert. The right to security or the
right to security of person finds a textual hook in
Article III, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution
which provides, viz.:
Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in
their persons, houses, papers and effects against
unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever
nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable,
and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall
issue except upon probable cause to be
determined personally by the judge. . .
At the core of this guarantee is the immunity of
one's person, including the extensions of his/her
person houses, papers, and effects against
government intrusion. Section 2 not only limits
the state's power over a person's home and
possessions, but more importantly, protects the
privacy and sanctity of the person himself. 117
The purpose of this provision was enunciated by

the Court in People v. CFI of Rizal, Branch IX,


Quezon City, viz.: 118

the word "security" itself means "freedom from


fear". 125 Article 3 of the UDHR provides, viz.:

The purpose of the constitutional guarantee


against unreasonable searches and seizures is to
prevent violations of private security in person
and property and unlawful invasion of the
security of the home by officers of the law acting
under legislative or judicial sanction and to give
remedy against such usurpation when attempted.
(Adams v. New York, 192 U.S. 858; Alvero v.
Dizon, 76 Phil. 637 [1946]). The right to privacy is
an essential condition to the dignity and
happiness and to the peace and security of every
individual, whether it be of home or of persons
and correspondence. (Taada and Carreon,
Political Law of the Philippines, Vol. 2, 139
[1962]). The constitutional inviolability of this
great fundamental right against unreasonable
searches and seizures must be deemed absolute
as nothing is closer to a man's soul than the
serenity of his privacy and the assurance of his
personal security. Any interference allowable can
only be for the best causes and reasons. 119
(emphases supplied) cDCaTS

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security


of person. 126 (emphasis supplied)

While the right to life under Article III, Section 1


120 guarantees essentially the right to be alive
121 upon which the enjoyment of all other
rights is preconditioned the right to security of
person is a guarantee of the secure quality of this
life, viz.: "The life to which each person has a
right is not a life lived in fear that his person and
property may be unreasonably violated by a
powerful ruler. Rather, it is a life lived with the
assurance that the government he established
and consented to, will protect the security of his
person and property. The ideal of security in life
and property. . . pervades the whole history of
man. It touches every aspect of man's existence."
122 In a broad sense, the right to security of
person "emanates in a person's legal and
uninterrupted enjoyment of his life, his limbs, his
body, his health, and his reputation. It includes
the right to exist, and the right to enjoyment of
life while existing, and it is invaded not only by a
deprivation of life but also of those things which
are necessary to the enjoyment of life according
to the nature, temperament, and lawful desires of
the individual." 123
A closer look at the right to security of person
would yield various permutations of the exercise
of this right. HEDSCc
First, the right to security of person is "freedom
from fear". In its "whereas" clauses, the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) enunciates
that "a world in which human beings shall enjoy
freedom of speech and belief and freedom from
fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest
aspiration of the common people." (emphasis
supplied) Some scholars postulate that "freedom
from fear" is not only an aspirational principle,
but essentially an individual international human
right. 124 It is the "right to security of person" as
33 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

In furtherance of this right declared in the UDHR,


Article 9 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights (ICCPR) also provides for the
right to security of person, viz.:
1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security
of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary
arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of
his liberty except on such grounds and in
accordance with such procedure as are
established by law. (emphasis supplied)
The Philippines is a signatory to both the UDHR
and the ICCPR.
In the context of Section 1 of the Amparo Rule,
"freedom from fear" is the right and any threat to
the rights to life, liberty or security is the
actionable wrong. Fear is a state of mind, a
reaction; threat is a stimulus, a cause of action.
Fear caused by the same stimulus can range from
being baseless to well-founded as people react
differently. The degree of fear can vary from one
person to another with the variation of the
prolificacy of their imagination, strength of
character or past experience with the stimulus.
Thus, in the amparo context, it is more correct to
say that the "right to security" is actually the
"freedom from threat". Viewed in this light, the
"threatened with violation" Clause in the latter
part of Section 1 of the Amparo Rule is a form of
violation of the right to security mentioned in the
earlier part of the provision. 127 ICHcTD
Second, the right to security of person is a
guarantee of bodily and psychological integrity or
security. Article III, Section II of the 1987
Constitution guarantees that, as a general rule,
one's body cannot be searched or invaded
without a search warrant. 128 Physical injuries
inflicted in the context of extralegal killings and
enforced disappearances constitute more than a
search or invasion of the body. It may constitute
dismemberment, physical disabilities, and painful
physical intrusion. As the degree of physical
injury increases, the danger to life itself
escalates. Notably, in criminal law, physical
injuries constitute a crime against persons
because they are an affront to the bodily integrity
or security of a person. 129
Physical torture, force, and violence are a severe
invasion of bodily integrity. When employed to
vitiate the free will such as to force the victim to
admit,
reveal
or
fabricate
incriminating
information, it constitutes an invasion of both
bodily and psychological integrity as the dignity
of the human person includes the exercise of free
will. Article III, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution
more
specifically
proscribes
bodily
and
psychological invasion, viz.:

(2) No torture, force, violence, threat or


intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the
free will shall be used against him (any person
under investigation for the commission of an
offense). Secret detention places, solitary,
incommunicado or other similar forms of
detention are prohibited.
Parenthetically, under this provision, threat and
intimidation that vitiate the free will although
not involving invasion of bodily integrity
nevertheless constitute a violation of the right to
security in the sense of "freedom from threat" as
afore-discussed.
Article III, Section 12 guarantees freedom from
dehumanizing
abuses
of
persons
under
investigation for the commission of an offense.
Victims of enforced disappearances who are not
even under such investigation should all the more
be protected from these degradations.
An overture to an interpretation of the right to
security of person as a right against torture was
made by the European Court of Human Rights
(ECHR) in the recent case of Popov v. Russia. 130
In this case, the claimant, who was lawfully
detained, alleged that the state authorities had
physically abused him in prison, thereby violating
his right to security of person. Article 5 (1) of the
European Convention on Human Rights provides,
viz.: "Everyone has the right to liberty and
security of person. No one shall be deprived of his
liberty save in the following cases and in
accordance with a procedure prescribed by law . .
." (emphases supplied) Article 3, on the other
hand, provides that "(n)o one shall be subjected
to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment
or punishment". Although the application failed
on the facts as the alleged ill-treatment was
found baseless, the ECHR relied heavily on the
concept of security in holding, viz.: ECTSDa
. . . the applicant did not bring his allegations to
the attention of domestic authorities at the time
when they could reasonably have been expected
to take measures in order to ensure his security
and to investigate the circumstances in question.
xxx xxx xxx
. . . the authorities failed to ensure his security in
custody or to comply with the procedural
obligation under Art. 3 to conduct an effective
investigation into his allegations. 131 (emphasis
supplied)
The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women has also made a
statement that the protection of the bodily
integrity of women may also be related to the
right to security and liberty, viz.:
. . . gender-based violence which impairs or
nullifies the enjoyment by women of human
rights and fundamental freedoms under general
international law or under specific human rights
conventions is discrimination within the meaning
of article 1 of the Convention (on the Elimination
of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women).
34 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

These rights and freedoms include . . . the right


to liberty and security of person. 132
Third, the right to security of person is a
guarantee of protection of one's rights by the
government. In the context of the writ of amparo,
this right is built into the guarantees of the right
to life and liberty under Article III, Section 1 of the
1987 Constitution and the right to security of
person (as freedom from threat and guarantee of
bodily and psychological integrity) under Article
III, Section 2. The right to security of person in
this third sense is a corollary of the policy that
the State "guarantees full respect for human
rights" under Article II, Section 11 of the 1987
Constitution. 133 As the government is the chief
guarantor
of
order
and
security,
the
Constitutional guarantee of the rights to life,
liberty and security of person is rendered
ineffective if government does not afford
protection to these rights especially when they
are under threat. Protection includes conducting
effective investigations, organization of the
government apparatus to extend protection to
victims of extralegal killings or enforced
disappearances (or threats thereof) and/or their
families, and bringing offenders to the bar of
justice. The Inter-American Court of Human
Rights stressed the importance of investigation in
the Velasquez Rodriguez Case, 134 viz.: cSEaDA
(The duty to investigate) must be undertaken in a
serious manner and not as a mere formality
preordained to be ineffective. An investigation
must have an objective and be assumed by the
State as its own legal duty, not as a step taken by
private interests that depends upon the initiative
of the victim or his family or upon their offer of
proof, without an effective search for the truth by
the government. 135
This third sense of the right to security of person
as a guarantee of government protection has
been interpreted by the United Nations' Human
Rights Committee 136 in not a few cases
involving Article 9 137 of the ICCPR. While the
right to security of person appears in conjunction
with the right to liberty under Article 9, the
Committee has ruled that the right to security of
person can exist independently of the right to
liberty. In other words, there need not necessarily
be a deprivation of liberty for the right to security
of person to be invoked. In Delgado Paez v.
Colombia, 138 a case involving death threats to a
religion teacher at a secondary school in Leticia,
Colombia, whose social views differed from those
of the Apostolic Prefect of Leticia, the Committee
held, viz.:

The first sentence of article 9 does not stand as a


separate paragraph. Its location as a part of
paragraph one could lead to the view that the
right to security arises only in the context of
arrest and detention. The travaux prparatiores
indicate that the discussions of the first sentence
did indeed focus on matters dealt with in the
other provisions of article 9. The Universal

Declaration of Human Rights, in article 3, refers


to the right to life, the right to liberty and the
right to security of the person. These elements
have been dealt with in separate clauses in the
Covenant. Although in the Covenant the only
reference to the right of security of person is to
be found in article 9, there is no evidence that it
was intended to narrow the concept of the right
to security only to situations of formal deprivation
of liberty. At the same time, States parties have
undertaken to guarantee the rights enshrined in
the Covenant. It cannot be the case that, as a
matter of law, States can ignore known threats to
the life of persons under their jurisdiction, just
because that he or she is not arrested or
otherwise detained. States parties are under an
obligation to take reasonable and appropriate
measures to protect them. An interpretation of
article 9 which would allow a State party to ignore
threats to the personal security of non-detained
persons within its jurisdiction would render totally
ineffective the guarantees of the Covenant. 139
(emphasis supplied) CaEATI
The Paez ruling was reiterated in Bwalya v.
Zambia, 140 which involved a political activist
and prisoner of conscience who continued to be
intimidated, harassed, and restricted in his
movements following his release from detention.
In a catena of cases, the ruling of the Committee
was of a similar import: Bahamonde v. Equatorial
Guinea, 141 involving discrimination, intimidation
and persecution of opponents of the ruling party
in that state; Tshishimbi v. Zaire, 142 involving
the abduction of the complainant's husband who
was a supporter of democratic reform in Zaire;
Dias v. Angola, 143 involving the murder of the
complainant's partner and the harassment he
(complainant)
suffered
because
of
his
investigation of the murder; and Chongwe v.
Zambia, 144 involving an assassination attempt
on the chairman of an opposition alliance.
Similarly, the European Court of Human Rights
(ECHR) has interpreted the "right to security" not
only as prohibiting the State from arbitrarily
depriving liberty, but imposing a positive duty on
the State to afford protection of the right to
liberty. 145 The ECHR interpreted the "right to
security of person" under Article 5 (1) of the
European Convention of Human Rights in the
leading case on disappearance of persons, Kurt v.
Turkey. 146 In this case, the claimant's son had
been arrested by state authorities and had not
been seen since. The family's requests for
information and investigation regarding his
whereabouts
proved
futile.
The
claimant
suggested that this was a violation of her son's
right to security of person. The ECHR ruled, viz.:
. . . any deprivation of liberty must not only have
been effected in conformity with the substantive
and procedural rules of national law but must
equally be in keeping with the very purpose of
Article 5, namely to protect the individual from
arbitrariness. . . Having assumed control over
that individual it is incumbent on the authorities
to account for his or her whereabouts. For this
reason, Article 5 must be seen as requiring the
35 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

authorities to take effective measures to


safeguard against the risk of disappearance and
to conduct a prompt effective investigation into
an arguable claim that a person has been taken
into custody and has not been seen since. 147
(emphasis supplied) ESCTIA
Applying the foregoing concept of the right to
security of person to the case at bar, we now
determine whether there is a continuing violation
of respondents' right to security.
First, the violation of the right to security as
freedom from threat to respondents' life, liberty
and security.
While respondents were detained, they were
threatened that if they escaped, their families,
including them, would be killed. In Raymond's
narration, he was tortured and poured with
gasoline after he was caught the first time he
attempted to escape from Fort Magsaysay. A call
from a certain "Mam", who wanted to see him
before he was killed, spared him.
This time, respondents have finally escaped. The
condition of the threat to be killed has come to
pass. It should be stressed that they are now free
from captivity not because they were released by
virtue of a lawful order or voluntarily freed by
their abductors. It ought to be recalled that
towards the end of their ordeal, sometime in June
2007 when respondents were detained in a camp
in Limay, Bataan, respondents' captors even told
them that they were still deciding whether they
should be executed. Respondent Raymond
Manalo attested in his affidavit, viz.:
Kinaumagahan, naka-kadena pa kami. Tinanggal
ang mga kadena mga 3 o 4 na araw pagkalipas.
Sinabi sa amin na kaya kami nakakadena ay dahil
pinagdedesisyunan pa ng mga sundalo kung
papatayin kami o hindi. 148
The possibility of respondents being executed
stared them in the eye while they were in
detention. With their escape, this continuing
threat to their life is apparent, moreso now that
they have surfaced and implicated specific
officers in the military not only in their own
abduction and torture, but also in those of other
persons known to have disappeared such as
Sherlyn Cadapan, Karen Empeo, and Manuel
Merino, among others.
Understandably, since their escape, respondents
have been under concealment and protection by
private citizens because of the threat to their life,
liberty and security. The threat vitiates their free
will as they are forced to limit their movements or
activities. 149 Precisely because respondents are
being shielded from the perpetrators of their
abduction, they cannot be expected to show
evidence of overt acts of threat such as face-toface intimidation or written threats to their life,
liberty
and
security.
Nonetheless,
the
circumstances
of
respondents'
abduction,
detention, torture and escape reasonably support
a conclusion that there is an apparent threat that

they will again be abducted, tortured, and this


time, even executed. These constitute threats to
their liberty, security, and life, actionable through
a petition for a writ of amparo. CacTIE
Next, the violation of the right to security as
protection by the government. Apart from the
failure of military elements to provide protection
to respondents by themselves perpetrating the
abduction, detention, and torture, they also
miserably failed in conducting an effective
investigation of respondents' abduction as
revealed by the testimony and investigation
report of petitioners' own witness, Lt. Col. Ruben
Jimenez, Provost Marshall of the 7th Infantry
Division.
The one-day investigation conducted by Jimenez
was very limited, superficial, and one-sided. He
merely relied on the Sworn Statements of the six
implicated members of the CAFGU and civilians
whom he met in the investigation for the first
time. He was present at the investigation when
his subordinate Lingad was taking the sworn
statements, but he did not propound a single
question to ascertain the veracity of their
statements or their credibility. He did not call for
other witnesses to test the alibis given by the six
implicated persons nor for the family or neighbors
of the respondents.
In his affidavit, petitioner Secretary of National
Defense attested that in a Memorandum Directive
dated October 31, 2007, he issued a policy
directive addressed to the AFP Chief of Staff, that
the AFP should adopt rules of action in the event
the writ of amparo is issued by a competent court
against any members of the AFP, which should
essentially include verification of the identity of
the aggrieved party; recovery and preservation of
relevant evidence; identification of witnesses and
securing statements from them; determination of
the cause, manner, location and time of death or
disappearance; identification and apprehension of
the person or persons involved in the death or
disappearance; and bringing of the suspected
offenders before a competent court. 150
Petitioner AFP Chief of Staff also submitted his
own affidavit attesting that he received the above
directive of respondent Secretary of National
Defense and that acting on this directive, he
immediately caused to be issued a directive to
the units of the AFP for the purpose of
establishing the circumstances of the alleged
disappearance and the recent reappearance of
the respondents, and undertook to provide results
of the investigations to respondents. 151 To this
day, however, almost a year after the policy
directive was issued by petitioner Secretary of
National Defense on October 31, 2007,
respondents have not been furnished the results
of the investigation which they now seek through
the instant petition for a writ of amparo. TIEHDC
Under these circumstances, there is substantial
evidence to warrant the conclusion that there is a
violation of respondents' right to security as a
guarantee of protection by the government.
36 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

In sum, we conclude that respondents' right to


security as "freedom from threat" is violated by
the apparent threat to their life, liberty and
security of person. Their right to security as a
guarantee of protection by the government is
likewise violated by the ineffective investigation
and protection on the part of the military.
Finally, we come to the reliefs granted by the
Court of Appeals, which petitioners question.
First, that petitioners furnish respondents all
official and unofficial reports of the investigation
undertaken in connection with their case, except
those already in file with the court.

Second, that petitioners confirm in writing the


present places of official assignment of M/Sgt.
Hilario aka Rollie Castillo and Donald Caigas.
Third, that petitioners cause to be produced to
the Court of Appeals all medical reports, records
and charts, and reports of any treatment given or
recommended and medicines prescribed, if any,
to the Manalo brothers, to include a list of
medical personnel (military and civilian) who
attended to themfrom February 14, 2006 until
August 12, 2007.
With respect to the first and second reliefs,
petitioners argue that the production order
sought by respondents partakes of the
characteristics of a search warrant. Thus, they
claim that the requisites for the issuance of a
search warrant must be complied with prior to the
grant of the production order, namely: (1) the
application must be under oath or affirmation; (2)
the search warrant must particularly describe the
place to be searched and the things to be seized;
(3) there exists probable cause with one specific
offense; and (4) the probable cause must be
personally determined by the judge after
examination under oath or affirmation of the
complainant and the witnesses he may produce.
152 In the case at bar, however, petitioners point
out that other than the bare, self-serving and
vague allegations made by respondent Raymond
Manalo in his unverified declaration and affidavit,
the documents respondents seek to be produced
are only mentioned generally by name, with no
other supporting details. They also argue that the
relevancy of the documents to be produced must
be apparent, but this is not true in the present
case as the involvement of petitioners in the
abduction has not been shown. ISTCHE
Petitioners' arguments do not hold water. The
production order under the Amparo Rule should
not be confused with a search warrant for law
enforcement under Article III, Section 2 of the
1987 Constitution. This Constitutional provision is
a protection of the people from the unreasonable
intrusion of the government, not a protection of
the government from the demand of the people
such as respondents.

Instead, the amparo production order may be


likened to the production of documents or things
under Section 1, Rule 27 of the Rules of Civil
Procedure which provides in relevant part, viz.:
Section 1. Motion for production or inspection
order.
Upon motion of any party showing good cause
therefor, the court in which an action is pending
may (a) order any party to produce and permit
the inspection and copying or photographing, by
or on behalf of the moving party, of any
designated
documents,
papers,
books
of
accounts, letters, photographs, objects or
tangible things, not privileged, which constitute
or contain evidence material to any matter
involved in the action and which are in his
possession, custody or control. . .
In Material Distributors (Phil.) Inc. v. Judge
Natividad, 153 the respondent judge, under
authority of Rule 27, issued a subpoena duces
tecum for the production and inspection of
among others, the books and papers of Material
Distributors (Phil.) Inc. The company questioned
the issuance of the subpoena on the ground that
it violated the search and seizure clause. The
Court struck down the argument and held that
the subpoena pertained to a civil procedure that
"cannot
be
identified
or
confused
with
unreasonable
searches prohibited by the
Constitution. . ."
Moreover, in his affidavit, petitioner AFP Chief of
Staff himself undertook "to provide results of the
investigations conducted or to be conducted by
the concerned unit relative to the circumstances
of the alleged disappearance of the persons in
whose favor the Writ of Amparo has been sought
for as soon as the same has been furnished
Higher headquarters."
With respect to the second and third reliefs,
petitioners assert that the disclosure of the

37 | H R _ C H A P T E R 6

present places of assignment of M/Sgt. Hilario aka


Rollie Castillo and Donald Caigas, as well as the
submission of a list of medical personnel, is
irrelevant,
improper,
immaterial,
and
unnecessary in the resolution of the petition for a
writ of amparo. They add that it will unnecessarily
compromise and jeopardize the exercise of official
functions and duties of military officers and even
unwittingly and unnecessarily expose them to
threat of personal injury or even death. HEASaC
On the contrary, the disclosure of the present
places of assignment of M/Sgt. Hilario aka Rollie
Castillo and Donald Caigas, whom respondents
both directly implicated as perpetrators behind
their abduction and detention, is relevant in
ensuring the safety of respondents by avoiding
their areas of territorial jurisdiction. Such
disclosure would also help ensure that these
military officers can be served with notices and
court processes in relation to any investigation
and action for violation of the respondents' rights.
The list of medical personnel is also relevant in
securing information to create the medical history
of respondents and make appropriate medical
interventions, when applicable and necessary.
In blatant violation of our hard-won guarantees to
life, liberty and security, these rights are snuffed
out from victims of extralegal killings and
enforced disappearances. The writ of amparo is a
tool that gives voice to preys of silent guns and
prisoners behind secret walls.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is
DISMISSED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals
dated December 26, 2007 is affirmed.
SO ORDERED.
Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago, Carpio, AustriaMartinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Azcuna, Tinga,
Chico-Nazario, Velasco, Jr., Nachura, Reyes,
Leonardo-de Castro and Brion, JJ., concur.