BY EMILY VITAL
Family members of nine missing persons filed a motion for writ of habeas corpus before the Supreme Court this morning.
Among the relatives who filed the case were families of missing persons Prudencio Calubid, Rudy and Gabriel Calubad, Philip Limjoco, Leopoldo Ancheta, Rolando Porter, Celina Palma, Gloria Soco and Ariel Beloy.
They asked the High Court to issue a writ of habeas corpus directed to Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr., Maj. Gen. Bonifacio Ramos, Philippine National Police Dir. Gen. Oscar Calderon, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Commodore Leopoldo Calderon Jr., Senior Supt. Romeo Ricardo, Chief Supt. Jesus Versoza, Lt. Gen Alexander Yano, Chief Supt. Prospero Noble Jr., Chief Supt. Ismael Rafanan, Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz and Justice Sec. Norberto Gonzales.
Calubid, the elder Calubad, Limjoco and Ancheta are believed to be either members or consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and are protected by the Joint Agreement for Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the NDFP.
In a letter submitted to the High Court, Sonny Palma, brother of Celia, said, “If you think that my brother-in-law Prudencio is considered an enemy of the state, why not surface him and let him undergo the due process of law?” Celia is the wife of Prudencio Calubid.
Members of human rights groups and other Left-leaning organizations held a picket in front of the SC in solidarity with the families of missing persons.
Speaking before the picket rally, Elizabeth Calubad said, “Nananawagan ako sa mga sundalo na ilitaw na nila ang aking mag-ama. Mabubuting tao sila at walang kaaway.” (I ask the soldiers to surface my husband and son. They are good persons and they do not have enemies.)
Ghay Portajada, spokesperson of Desaparacidos said, “We shall closely monitor the court battle to compel the AFP to surface the missing persons. The families of the disappeared have a strong basis to suspect that their loved ones are in the hands of the military.”
Karapatan has documented 179 cases of disappearance since 2001. This year, 66 activists have gone missing. Bulatlat