Monday, November 16, 2015

Petitioners failed to present evidence that their right to privacy was being violated.

"x x x.

The Supreme Court dismissed the bid of militant lawmakers, human rights advocates and several others to seek protection due to threats to their life, liberty and security after they were included in a military “hitlist.”

In its ruling, the high court said there is no basis on the petitions for writ of habeas data and amparo filed by Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus, former Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano, former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, Children’s Rehabilitation Center executive director Jacqueline Ruiz, Rural Missionaries Coordinator Sr. Mary Francis Añover, Rev. Irma Balaba of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, and Ofelia Beltran-Balleta, representing the family of former Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran who passed away in 2008.

x x x.

The crimes were allegedly committed against some evacuees from Lumad communities in Davao del Norte and Bukidnon. There are more than 700 evacuees, who were forced to flee due to AFP operations and rights abuses, staying at the compound of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines in Davao City.

x x x.

But the high court said petitioners failed to present evidence that their right to privacy was being violated.

“The information contained in the rogues gallery is only their photographs, their names and their position in their respective organizations,” the high court said.

“All these data are of public knowledge and are readily accessible to anyone as petitioners are known personalities,” the high court added.

Respondents in the said petition are Pres. Benigno Aquino III, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri, PNP Chief P/Dir. Ricardo Marquez, other AFP officials such as Army Chief Maj. Gen. Eduardo Año and Eastern Mindanao Command Chief Lt. Gen. Aurelio Baladad, CIDG Director C/Supt. Victor Deona, among others.

x x x."