SolGen releases EJK papers, up to SC to handle security risks

Haka-haka lang: OSG blocks testimony of widow of slain NUPL abogado Benjamin Ramos

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The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on Thursday challenged the relevance of the testimony of witnesses presented by the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) during the hearing on the writ of amparo suit filed by the group at the Court of Appeals (CA).

Assistant Solicitor General Marlon Bosantog, said allowing petitioner Clarissa Ramos, widow of the late NUPL lawyer Benjamin Ramos, to testify on the work of her late husband would “be a highly speculative” testimony.

Ramos, who represented a number of political prisoners, was the lawyer of youth leader Myles Albasin and her five companions — known as the Mabinay 6 — who were arrested in Mabinay, Negros Oriental, following a clash with government troopers in March 2018.

Bosantog also challenged another petitioner, Burgos, Isabela lawyer Maria Catherine Dannug-Salucon to disclose names of personnel and specific orders handed within the chain of command of the military to prove their claim of an organized undertaking by the military to persecute members of front organizations linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.

He also questioned why Salucon became a party anew in the petition for writ of amparo when an earlier one she filed had been already ruled upon by the CA and the SC last year.

“The writ of amparo is personal and not transferrable to organizations,” Bosantog said.

Last January 23, the SC denied the petition for review on certiorari filed by the police and the military against Salucon’s first amparo suit and instead for lack of merit affirmed the 2015 CA decision granting the issuance of the writs of amparo and habeas data to the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyer (NUPL) based in Isabela, who was tagged as a “red lawyer” for representing political prisoners suspected to be members of the New People’s Army.

The OSG also claimed that Salucon’s proof of persecution was merely an “amalgamation of events which occurred since 2001,” involving the NUPL though President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in 2016.

The legal team of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday appeared on behalf of military officials at the hearing.

Appearing before the appellate court are Judge Advocate General, Brig. Gen. Ser-me Ayuyao and Department of National Defense Legal Affairs Service chief, Director Norman Daanoy.

The CA has ordered another hearing on July 18 to hear a new set of witnesses. (PNA)

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