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118 IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR THE WRIT OF AMPARO AND HABEAS DATA IN FAVOR OF NORIEL RODRIGUEZ,

NORIEL RODRIGUEZ, Petitioner,

vs.

GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, GEN. VICTOR S. IBRADO, PDG JESUS AME VERSOZA, LT. GEN. DELFIN BANGIT, MAJ. GEN.
NESTOR Z. OCHOA, P/CSUPT. AMETO G. TOLENTINO, P/SSUPT. JUDE W. SANTOS, COL. REMIGIO M. DE VERA, an officer
named MATUTINA, LT. COL. MINA, CALOG, GEORGE PALACPAC under the name "HARRY," ANTONIO CRUZ, ALDWIN
"BONG" PASICOLAN and VINCENT CALLAGAN,Respondents.

x-----------------------x

G.R. No. 193160

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR THE WRIT OF AMPARO AND HABEAS DATA IN FAVOR OF NORIEL RODRIGUEZ,
POLICE DIR. GEN. JESUS A. VERSOZA, P/SSUPT. JUDE W. SANTOS, BGEN. REMEGIO M. DE VERA, 1ST LT. RYAN S.
MATUTINA, LT. COL. LAURENCE E. MINA, ANTONIO C. CRUZ, ALDWIN C. PASICOLAN and VICENTE A. CALLAGAN,
Petitioners,

vs.

NORIEL H. RODRIGUEZ, Respondent.

[G.R. No. 191805; April 16, 2013]

TOPIC:

PONENTE: SERENO, CJ.

AUTHOR:

NOTES: (if applicable)

FACTS: (chronological order)

1. Petitioner Noriel Rodriguez is a member of Alyansa Dagiti Mannalon Iti Cagayan (Kagimungan), a peasant
organization affiliated with Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP). He claims that the military tagged KMP as an enemy
of the State under the Oplan Bantay Laya, making its members targets of extrajudicial killings and enforced
disappearances.

2. Noriel was abducted by military men and was tortured repeatedly when he refused to confess to his
membership in the NPA.

3. After his released, he filed a Petition for the Writ of Amparo and Petition for the Writ of Habeas Data with
Prayers for Protection Orders, Inspection of Place, and Production of Documents and Personal Properties. The petition
was filed against former Pres. Arroyo, et al.
4. The CA granted the writs but dropped Pres. Arroyo as party-respondent, as she may not be sued in any case
during her tenure of office or actual incumbency.

5. After a careful examination of the records, the SC was convinced that the Court of Appeals correctly found
sufficient evidence proving that the soldiers of the 17th Infantry Battalion, 5th Infantry Division of the military abducted
petitioner Rodriguez, and detained and tortured him. Hence, the SC affirmed with modification the CA’s decision. The
case was dismissed with respect to respondents former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, P/CSupt. Ameto G.
Tolentino, and P/SSupt. Jude W. Santos, Calog, George Palacpac, Antonio Cruz, Aldwin Pasicolan and Vincent Callagan
for lack of merit.

6. The SC directed the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to take the
appropriate action with respect to any possible liability or liabilities, within their respective legal competence, that may
have been incurred by respondents Gen. Victor lbrado, PDG. Jesus Verzosa, Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit, Maj. Gen. Nestor
Ochoa, Brig. Gen. Remegio De Vera, 1st Lt. Ryan Matutina, and Lt. Col. Laurence Mina. The Ombudsman and the DOJ
were ordered to submit to the Court the results of their action within a period of six months from receipt of this
Decision.

7. Pursuant to the Decision ordering the Office of the Ombudsman to take further action, Ombudsman Conchita
Carpio Morales sent this Court a letter requesting an additional two-month period within which to submit a report. The
Ombudsman stated that Noriel Rodriguez and his family refused to cooperate with the investigation for security
reasons.

8. Respondents filed their Motion for Reconsideration, arguing that the soldiers belonging to the 17th Infantry
Battalion, 5th Infantry Division of the military cannot be held accountable for authoring the abduction and torture of
petitioner. Their arguments revolve solely on the claim that respondents were never specifically mentioned by name as
having performed, permitted, condoned, authorized, or allowed the commission of any act or incurrence omission which
would violate or threaten with violation the rights to life, liberty, and security of petitioner-respondent and his family.

9. The Ombudsman submitted the Investigation Report, which detailed the steps taken by the Field Investigation
Office (FIO) of the Office of the Ombudsman, concluding that no criminal, civil, or administrative liabilities may be
imputed to the respondents. It was reflected therein that the lawyers for the Rodriguezes had manifested to the FIO
that the latter are hesitant to appear before them for security reasons.

10. Karapatan (a non-governmental organization that provides legal assistance to victims of human rights violations
and their families) could not locate Noriel and Rodel. As of this writing, the Rodriguezes refused to participate in the
present fact-finding investigation ‘for security reasons.’ Recent information revealed that Noriel and his family are no
longer interested in participating in the present case.

11. Instead of appearing before the FIO for a conference under oath, SPO1 Robert B. Molina submitted an Affidavit
stating that Wilma H. Rodriguez appeared before the Gonzaga Police Station and requested to enter into the blotter that
her son, Noriel, was allegedly missing in Sitio Comunal, Gonzaga, Cagayan. Thereupon, he gathered information relative
to Wilma’s report "but the community residence failed to reveal anything".

12. The other accounts – specifically that of respondent Antonino C. Cruz, Special Investigator II of the Commission
on Human Rights (CHR), as well as the claims of respondents Mina and De Vera that they had disclosed to the CHR that
Noriel had become an agent ("asset") of the 17th Infantry Battalion – have been thoroughly evaluated and ruled upon in
our Decision. The OMB further laments, "If only he (Noriel) could be asked to verify the circumstances under which he
executed these subsequent affidavits, his inconsistent claims will finally be settled," and that "(I)f there is one person
who can attest on whether detention and torture were indeed committed by any of the Subjects herein, it is Noriel
Rodriguez himself, the supposed victim."

ISSUE(S): Whether or not the CA erred when it granted the writ of amparo in favor of petitioner Noriel.

HELD: NO.

RATIO:

SC denied the respondents’ motion for reconsideration.

The purported unwillingness of the petitioner to appear or participate at this stage of the proceedings due to security
reasons does not affect the rationale of the writ granted by the CA, as affirmed by this Court. In any case, the issue of
the existence of criminal, civil, or administrative liability which may be imputed to the respondents is not the province of
amparo proceedings -- rather, the writ serves both preventive and curative roles in addressing the problem of
extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. It is preventive in that it breaks the expectation of impunity in the
commission of these offenses, and it is curative in that it facilitates the subsequent punishment of perpetrators by
inevitably leading to subsequent investigation and action. In this case then, the thrust of ensuring that investigations are
conducted and the rights to life, liberty, and security of the petitioner, remains.

The writ of amparo partakes of a summary proceeding that requires only substantial evidence to make the appropriate
interim and permanent reliefs available to the petitioner. It is not an action to determine criminal guilt requiring proof
beyond reasonable doubt, or liability for damages requiring preponderance of evidence, or even administrative
responsibility requiring substantial evidence. The totality of evidence as a standard for the grant of the writ was
correctly applied by the Court.

No reversible error may be attributed to the grant of the privilege of the writ by the CA, and the present motion for
reconsideration raises no new issues that would convince us otherwise.

Respondents’ claim that they were not competently identified as the soldiers who abducted and detained the petitioner,
or that there was no mention of their names in the documentary evidence, is baseless. The CA rightly considered
Rodriguez’s Sinumpaang Salaysay as a meticulous and straightforward account of his horrific ordeal with the military,
detailing the manner in which he was captured and maltreated on account of his suspected membership in the NPA.

Petitioner narrated that at dawn on 9 September 2009, he noticed a soldier with the name tag "Matutina," who
appeared to be an official because the other soldiers addressed him as "sir." He saw Matutina again at 11:00 p.m. on 15
September 2009, when his abductors took him to a military operation in the mountains. His narration of his suffering
included an exhaustive description of his physical surroundings, personal circumstances, and perceived observations. He
likewise positively identified respondents 1st Lt. Matutina and Lt. Col. Mina to be present during his abduction,
detention and torture. These facts were further corroborated by Hermie Antonio Carlos in his Sinumpaang Salaysay
wherein he recounted in detail the circumstances surrounding the victim’s capture.

Respondents’ main contention in their Return of the Writ was correctly deemed illogical and contradictory by the CA.
They claim that Rodriguez had complained of physical ailments due to activities in the CPP-NPA yet nevertheless
signified his desire to become a double-agent for the military. If petitioner was tired of life in the wilderness and desired
to become an ordinary citizen again, it defies logic that he would agree to become an undercover agent and work
alongside soldiers in the mountains – or the wilderness he dreads – to locate the hideout of his alleged NPA comrades.

Respondents conveniently neglect to address the findings of both the CA and this Court that aside from the abduction of
Rodriguez, respondents, specifically 1st Lt. Matutina, had violated and threatened the former’s right to security when
they made a visual recording of his house, as well as the photos of his relatives. The CA found that the soldiers even
went as far as taking videos of the photos of petitioner’s relatives hung on the wall of the house, and the innermost
portions of the house. There is no reasonable justification for this violation of the right to privacy and security of
petitioner’s abode, which strikes at the very heart and rationale of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo. More importantly,
respondents also neglect to address our ruling that the failure to conduct a fair and effective investigation similarly
amounted to a violation of, or threat to Rodriguez’s rights to life, liberty, and security.

The writ’s curative role is an acknowledgment that the violation of the right to life, liberty, and security may be caused
not only by a public official’s act, but also by his omission. Accountability may attach to respondents who are imputed
with knowledge relating to the enforced disappearance and who carry the burden of disclosure; or those who carry, but
have failed to discharge, the burden of extraordinary diligence in the investigation of the enforced disappearance. The
duty to investigate must be undertaken in a serious manner and not as a mere formality preordained to be ineffective.

The CA found that respondents Gen. Ibrado, PDG Verzosa, LT. Gen. Bangit, Maj. Gen. Ochoa, Col. De Vera, and Lt. Col.
Mina conducted a perfunctory investigation which relied solely on the accounts of the military. Thus, the CA correctly
held that the investigation was superficial, one-sided, and depended entirely on the report prepared by 1st Lt. Johnny
Calub. No efforts were undertaken to solicit petitioner’s version of the incident, and no witnesses were questioned
regarding it. The CA also took into account the palpable lack of effort from respondent Versoza, as the chief of the
Philippine National Police.

#7 IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR THE WRIT OF AMPARO AND WRIT OF HABEAS DATA IN FAVOR OF NORIEL H.
RODRIGUEZ
GR NO. 191805
NOVEMBER 15, 2011

Facts:
Petitioner Noriel Rodriguez is a member of Alyansa Dagiti Mannalon Iti Cagayan (Kagimungan), a peasant
organization affiliated with Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP). He claims that the military tagged KMP as an enemy
of the State under the Oplan Bantay Laya, making its members targets of extrajudicial killings and enforced
disappearances.

Rodriguez was abducted by military men and was tortured repeatedly when he refused to confess to his
membership in the NPA. When released, he filed a Petition for the Writ of Amparo and and Petition for the Writ
of Habeas Data with Prayers for Protection Orders, Inspection of Place, and Production of Documents and Personal
Properties. The petition was filed against former Pres. Arroyo, et al. The writs were granted but the CA dropped Pres
Arroyo as party-respondent, as she may not be sued in any case during her tenure of office or actual incumbency.

Issue:
1. Whether former Pres GMA should be dropped as respondent on the basis of presidential immunity from suit
2. Whether the doctrine of command responsibility can be used in amparo and habeas data cases.
3. Whether the president, as commander-in-chief of the military, can be held responsible or accountable for
extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.
4. Whether Rodriguez has proven through substantial evidence that former President Arroyo is responsible or
accountable for his abduction.
Held:

1. No. It bears stressing that since there is no determination of administrative, civil or criminal liability in
amparo and habeas data proceedings, courts can only go as far as ascertaining responsibility or accountability
for the enforced disappearance or extrajudicial killing.

As was held in the case of Estrada v Desierto, a non-sitting President does not enjoy immunity from suit, even
for acts committed during the latter’s tenure; that courts should look with disfavor upon the presidential privilege of
immunity, especially when it impedes the search for truth or impairs the vindication of a right. The deliberations of the
Constitutional Commission also reveal that the intent of the framers is clear that presidential immunity from suit is
concurrent only with his tenure and not his term. (The term means the time during which the officer may claim to hold
the office as of right, and fixes the interval after which the several incumbents shall succeed one another. The tenure
represents the term during which the incumbent actually holds office. The tenure may be shorter than the term for
reasons within or beyond the power of the incumbent.) Therefore, former Pres. GMA cannot use such immunity to
shield herself from judicial scrutiny that would assess whether, within the context of amparo proceedings, she was
responsible or accountable for the abduction of Rodriguez.

2. Yes. As we explained in Rubrico v. Arroyo, command responsibility pertains to the "responsibility of


commanders for crimes committed by subordinate members of the armed forces or other persons subject to
their control in international wars or domestic conflict." Although originally used for ascertaining criminal
complicity, the command responsibility doctrine has also found application in civil cases for human rights
abuses. This development in the use of command responsibility in civil proceedings shows that the application of
this doctrine has been liberally extended even to cases not criminal in nature. Thus, it is our view that command
responsibility may likewise find application in proceedings seeking the privilege of the writ of amparo.

Precisely in the case at bar, the doctrine of command responsibility may be used to determine whether respondents
are accountable for and have the duty to address the abduction of Rodriguez in order to enable the courts to devise
remedial measures to protect his rights. Clearly, nothing precludes this Court from applying the doctrine of command
responsibility in amparo proceedings to ascertain responsibility and accountability in extrajudicial killings and enforced
disappearances.

In other words, command responsibility may be loosely applied in amparo cases in order to identify those
accountable individuals that have the power to effectively implement whatever processes an amparo court would issue.
In such application, the amparo court does not impute criminal responsibility but merely pinpoint the superiors it
considers to be in the best position to protect the rights of the aggrieved party. Such identification of the responsible
and accountable superiors may well be a preliminary determination of criminal liability which, of course, is still subject
to further investigation by the appropriate government agency.

Thus, although there is no determination of criminal, civil or administrative liabilities, the doctrine of command
responsibility may nevertheless be applied to ascertain responsibility and accountability within these foregoing
definitions.

3. Yes.

To hold someone liable under the doctrine of command responsibility, the following elements must obtain:
a. the existence of a superior-subordinate relationship between the accused as superior and the perpetrator of
the crime as his subordinate;

b. the superior knew or had reason to know that the crime was about to be or had been committed; and

c. the superior failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent the criminal acts or punish the
perpetrators thereof.84

The president, being the commander-in-chief of all armed forces, necessarily possesses control over the military that
qualifies him as a superior within the purview of the command responsibility doctrine.

4. No. Rodriguez anchors his argument on a general allegation that on the basis of the "Melo Commission" and the
"Alston Report," respondents in G.R. No. 191805 already had knowledge of and information on, and should have
known that a climate of enforced disappearances had been perpetrated on members of the NPA. Without even
attaching, or at the very least, quoting these reports, Rodriguez contends that the Melo Report points to rogue
military men as the perpetrators. While the Alston Report states that there is a policy allowing enforced
disappearances and pins the blame on the President, we do not automatically impute responsibility to former
President Arroyo for each and every count of forcible disappearance. Aside from Rodriguez’s general
averments, there is no piece of evidence that could establish her responsibility or accountability for his
abduction. Neither was there even a clear attempt to show that she should have known about the violation of
his right to life, liberty or security, or that she had failed to investigate, punish or prevent it.

Lozada v. Macapagal-Arroyo
G.R. No. 184379-80 April 24, 2012 Sereno, J. Tan de Guzman
petitioners RODOLFO NOEL LOZADA, JR., VIOLETA LOZADA and ARTURO LOZADA
respondents PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO, EDUARDO ERMITA, AVELINO RAZON, ANGEL
ATUTUBO and SPO4 ROGER VALEROSO
summary Lozada was issued a subpoena by Senate with regards to the NBN-ZTE scandal. He did not
appear during the hearing and instead flew to London on ‘official business’. Upon his
return, he was escorted by several men and was told by Sec. Atienza that Atienza was
talking to ES and Ma’m, whom Lozada assumed to be ES Recto and the President. Lozada
was brought to LSGH where he was purportedly harassed and threatened by the police. His
brother filed for a writ of amparo. The court held that the Writ of Amparo was properly
denied by the CA because the petitioners failed to meet the threshold of substantial
evidence and that they failed to prove the existence of a continuing threat.
Facts of the case

The instant Petition stems from the alleged corruption scandal precipitated by a transaction
between the Philippine government, represented by the National Broadband Network (NBN),
and ZTE Corporation, a Chinese manufacturer of telecommunications equipment. Former
NEDA Secretary Neri sought the services of Lozada as an unofficial consultant in the ZTE-NBN
deal. The latter avers that during the course of his engagement, he discovered several anomalies
in the said transaction involving certain public officials. These events impelled the Senate of the
Philippines Blue Ribbon Committee to conduct an investigation thereon, for which it issued a
subpoena directing Lozada to appear and testify on 30 January 2008.

Lozada did not appear at the Blue Ribbon Committee. DENR Sec. Atienza announced that
Lozada was in an official trip to London. Because of this, Senate issued an order (1) citing
Lozada in contempt; (2) ordering his arrest and detention; (3) directing the sergeant-at-arms to
implement such order and make a return.

Lozada asked Sec. Atienza if he can go back to the Philippines. Upon approval, he informed
his family that he would be arriving in Manila, Feb 5 at 4 pm.

In his petition, Lozada claims that upon disembarking, several men held his arms and took
his bag. He allegedly insisted on joining his family but realized that it would be wiser to go with
the men when he heard them say in their handheld radio ‘[H]wag kayong dumaan diyan sir
nandyan ang mga taga senado.’

Lozada asked to go to the comfort room and while there, called his brother, Arturo and
informed him of his situation. He observed that there were several cars tailing their car. Sec.
Atienza called him and assured him that he was with government people and that Sec. Atienza
would confer with ES and Ma’m. Lozada surmised them to be ES Ermita and the President. He
was also told to pacify his wife, Violeta, who was making public statements asking for her
husband’s return. Along the way, the men asked Lozada to draft an antedated letter requesting
police protection. Lozada asked to be brought to his home in Pasig, but was refused due to
security risks. They stopped at Outback restaurant to meet with Atty. Antonio Bautista and
Col. Mascarinas, Lozada claimed that he was made to fill in the blanks of an affidavit. He was
then brought to LSGH per his request. He observed that policemen, purportedly restraining his
liberty and threatening the security of his, his family and the LS brothers, guarded the
perimeter of LSGH.

On Feb 6, Col. Mascarinas supposedly brought Lozada to the office of Atty. Bautista to
finalize and sign an affidavit. On the same day his wife petitioned for Habeas Corpus and his
brother petitioned for a Writ of Amparo with the Supreme Court, and prayed for the issuance of
(a) the writ of amparo; (b) a Temporary Protection Order (TPO); and (c) Inspection and
Production Orders as regards documents related to the authority ordering custody over
Lozada, as well as any other document that would show responsibility for his alleged
abduction.

Lozada alleged that he was made to sign a letter requesting police protection. On 7 February
2008, Lozada decided to hold a press conference and contact the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, who
served the warrant of arrest on him. He claimed that after his press conference and testimony in
the Senate, he and his family were since then harassed, stalked and threatened.

Respondents: Lozada had knowledge and control of what happened from the time of his
arrival, he voluntarily entrusted himself to their company and was never deprived of his liberty
and that since Feb 8, Lozada has been in the custody of the Senate.

CA’s decisions:

1. Habeas Corpus case moot.

2. Denied issuance of Subpoena Ad Testificandum and Presentation of Hostile Witnesses


and Adverse Parties – irrelevant to Amparo Case, to require them to testify would be a fishing
expedition.

3. Dropped Pres. Arroyo as a respondent because she enjoys immunity from suit as
president.

4. Dismissed Writ of Amparo. – Petitioners unable to prove through substantial evidence


that respondents violated Lozada’s right to life, liberty and security.

Issue

Whether circumstances are adequately alleged and proven by petitioner Lozada to entitle him
to the protection of the writ of amparo? NO.

Ratio

Definition: Writ of Amparo (court’s lecture)

The writ of amparo is an independent and summary remedy that provides rapid judicial
relief to protect the people’s right to life, liberty and security. Having been originally intended
as a response to the alarming cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in the
country, it serves both preventive and curative roles to address the said human rights
violations. It is preventive in that it breaks the expectation of impunity in the commission of
these offenses, and it is curative in that it facilitates the subsequent punishment of perpetrators
by inevitably leading to subsequent investigation and action.
As it stands, the writ of amparo is confined only to cases of extrajudicial killings and
enforced disappearances, or to threats thereof. Considering that this remedy is aimed at
addressing these serious violations of or threats to the right to life, liberty and security, it cannot
be issued on amorphous and uncertain grounds, or in cases where the alleged threat has ceased
and is no longer imminent or continuing. Instead, it must be granted judiciously so as not to
dilute the extraordinary and remedial character of the writ, thus: The privilege of the writ of
amparo is envisioned basically to protect and guarantee the rights to life, liberty, and security of
persons, free from fears and threats that vitiate the quality of this life. It is an extraordinary writ
conceptualized and adopted in light of and in response to the prevalence of extra-legal killings
and enforced disappearances. Accordingly, the remedy ought to be resorted to and granted
judiciously, lest the ideal sought by the Amparo Rule be diluted and undermined by the
indiscriminate filing of amparo petitions for purposes less than the desire to secure amparo
reliefs and protection and/or on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations.

Writ of Amparo Denied

In cases where the violation of the right to life, liberty or security has already ceased, it is
necessary for the petitioner in an amparo action to prove the existence of a continuing threat.

In the present case, the totality of the evidence adduced by petitioners failed to meet the
threshold of substantial evidence. Sifting through all the evidence and allegations presented,
the crux of the case boils down to assessing the veracity and credibility of the parties’ diverging
claims as to what actually transpired on 5-6 February 2008. In this regard, this Court is in
agreement with the factual findings of the CA to the extent that Lozada was not illegally
deprived of his liberty from the point when he disembarked from the aircraft up to the time he
was led to the departure area of the airport, as he voluntarily submitted himself to the custody
of respondents.

 He was able to go to the men’s bathroom and call his brother


 He was avoiding the people from the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, detour
appears to explain why they did not get out at the arrival area, where [Lozada] could
have passed through immigration so that his passport could be properly stamped
 No evidence on record that Lozada struggled or made an outcry for help
 He testified that nobody held, shouted, or was hostile to him
 He knew and agreed with the plan that he would be fetched at the airport because at
that time, it was his decision not to testify before the Senate
 it must be emphasized that if Lozada had in fact been illegally restrained, so much so
that his right to liberty and security had been violated, the acts that manifested this
restraint had already ceased and has consequently rendered the grant of the privilege of
the writ ofamparo moot.
 The supposed announcement of General Razon over the radio that [Lozada] was in the
custody of the PNP can neither be construed as a threat to [Lozada’s] life, liberty and
security. Certainly, no person in his right mind would make that kind of media
announcement if his intent was indeed to threaten somebody’s life, liberty and security
 Presence of armed men riding in motorcycle passing outside the LSGH premises where
he and his family are staying and by alleged threats of armed men around him at places
where he went to. Again, these alleged threats were not proven by any evidence at all, as
having originated from any of the respondents
 Installation of the surveillance camera at the De La Salle and at St. Scholastica as indirect
threat to his right to life, liberty and security. He claims that these are spy cameras.
However, save for [Lozada’s] self-serving claim, he simply failed to prove that they were
installed or ordered installed by the respondents for the purpose of threatening his right
to life, liberty and security
 No evidence on record that the bomb threats were made by the respondents or done
upon their instigation.
 He did not ascertain from the Bureau of Immigration whether his name was actually in
the official watch list of the Bureau
 [Lozada] himself testified that he does not know whether the respondents or any of the
respondents ordered the filing of these ‘frivolous’ cases against him. In any event, said
purported cases are to be determined based on their own merits and are clearly beyond
the realm of the instant amparo petition filed against the respondents
 The failure to establish that the public official observed extraordinary diligence in the
performance of duty does not result in the automatic grant of the privilege of the
amparo writ. It does not relieve the petitioner from establishing his or her claim by
substantial evidence (Yano v. Sanchez)

Sec. 22 of the Amparo Rule proscribes the filing of an amparo petition should a criminal
action have, in the meanwhile, been commenced.

Sec. 23, on the other hand, provides that when the criminal suit is filed subsequent to a
petition for amparo, the petition shall be consolidated with the criminal action where the
Amparo Rule shall nonetheless govern the disposition of the relief under the Rule.

In Rubrico v. Arroyo the Court interprets the above sections as follows: (1) the consolidation of
the probe and fact-finding aspects of the instant petition with the investigation of the criminal
complaint before the OMB; and (2) the incorporation in the same criminal complaint of the
allegations in this petition bearing on the threats to the right to security. Withal, the OMB
should be furnished copies of the investigation reports to aid that body in its own investigation
and eventual resolution of OMB-P-C-O7-0602-E. Then, too, the OMB shall be given easy access
to all pertinent documents and evidence, if any, adduced before the CA. Necessarily, Lourdes,
as complainant in OMB-P-C-O7-0602-E, should be allowed, if so minded, to amend her basic
criminal complaint if the consolidation of cases is to be fully effective.
APPLIED: if the Complaint filed before the DOJ had already progressed into a criminal case,
then the latter action can more adequately dispose of the allegations made by petitioners. After
all, one of the ultimate objectives of the writ of amparo as a curative remedy is to facilitate the
subsequent punishment of perpetrators. On the other hand, if there is no actual criminal case
lodged before the courts, then the denial of the Petition is without prejudice to the filing of the
appropriate administrative, civil or criminal case, if applicable, against those individuals whom
Lozada deems to have unduly restrained his liberty.

No basis for interim reliefs since writ of amparo denied

In Yano v. Sanchez, this court declined to grant the prayer for the issuance of a TPO, as well as
Inspection and Production Orders, upon a finding that the implicated public officials were not
accountable for the disappearance subject of that case. Analogously, it would be incongruous to
grant herein petitioners’ prayer for a TPO and Inspection and Production Orders and at the
same time rule that there no longer exists any imminent or continuing threat to Lozada’s right
to life, liberty and security. Thus, there is no basis on which a prayer for the issuance of these
interim reliefs can be anchored.

Denial of the issuance of a subpoena ad testificandum proper - for a subpoena to issue, it must
first appear that the person or documents sought to be presented are prima facie relevant to the
issue subject of the controversy

CA correctly denied petitioners’ Motion for the Issuance of Subpoena Ad Testificandum on the
ground that the testimonies of the witnesses sought to be presented during trial were prima
facie irrelevant to the issues of the case. The court has repeatedly reminded the parties, in the
course of the proceedings, that the instant Amparo Petition does not involve the investigation of
the ZTE-NBN contract.

President Arroyo was not proven to be involved in the alleged violation of life, liberty and
security of Lozada

President Arroyo’s term as president has ended, therefore she no longer enjoys immunity, but
an examination of Petitioner’s evidence reveals their failure to sufficiently establish any
unlawful act or omission on her part that violated, or threatened with violation, the right to life,
liberty and security of Lozada. Except for the bare claims that: (a) Sec. Atienza mentioned a
certain “Ma’[a]m,” whom Lozada speculated to have referred to her, and (b) Sec. Defensor told
Lozada that “the President was ‘hurting’ from all the media frenzy,” there is nothing in the
records that would sufficiently establish the link of former President Arroyo to the events that
transpired on 5-6 February 2010, as well as to the subsequent threats that Lozada and his family
purportedly received.
G.R. No. 183533, September 25, 2012

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR THE WRIT OF AMPARO AND THE WRIT OF
HABEAS DATA IN FAVOR OF FRANCIS SAEZ, Petitioner, vs. GMA, et. al.

FACTS: On March 6, 2008, the petitioner filed with the Court a petition to be granted the privilege of
the writs of amparo and habeas data with prayers for temporary protection order, inspection of
place and production of documents. In the petition, he expressed his fear of being abducted and
killed. He likewise prayed for the military to cease from further conducting surveillance and
monitoring of his activities and for his name to be excluded from the order of battle and other
government records connecting him to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

During the hearings, the petitioner narrated that starting April 16, 2007, he noticed that he was
always being followed by a certain "Joel," a former colleague at Bayan Muna. "Joel" pretended
peddling pandesal in the vicinity of the petitioner’s store. Three days before the petitioner was
apprehended, "Joel" approached and informed him of his marital status and current job as a baker
in Calapan, Mindoro Oriental. "Joel" inquired if the petitioner was still involved with ANAKPAWIS.
When asked by the CA justices during the hearing if the petitioner had gone home to Calapan after
having filed the petition, he answered in the negative explaining that he was afraid of Pvt. Osio who
was always at the pier. The CA ruled that the petitioner failed to present sufficient evidence to
substantiate his petition for habeas data and writ of amparo. The CA likewise dropped as
respondent, for Pres. GMA on the ground of her immunity from suit. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: WON the President should be immediately dropped as respondent on the ground of her
immunity from suit.

HELD. NO. The President cannot be automatically dropped as a respondent pursuant to the
doctrine of command responsibility.

In Noriel Rodriguez v. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, et al., the Court stated:

a. Command responsibility of the President

Having established the applicability of the doctrine of command responsibility in amparo


proceedings, it must now be resolved whether the president, as commander-in-chief of the military,
can be held responsible or accountable for extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. We
rule in the affirmative.

To hold someone liable under the doctrine of command responsibility, the following elements must
obtain:

a. the existence of a superior-subordinate relationship between the accused as superior and the
perpetrator of the crime as his subordinate;

b. the superior knew or had reason to know that the crime was about to be or had been committed;
and

c. the superior failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent the criminal acts or
punish the perpetrators thereof.

The president, being the commander-in-chief of all armed forces, necessarily possesses control
over the military that qualifies him as a superior within the purview of the command responsibility
doctrine.
On the issue of knowledge, it must be pointed out that although international tribunals apply a strict
standard of knowledge, i.e., actual knowledge, such may nonetheless be established through
circumstantial evidence. In the Philippines, a more liberal view is adopted and superiors may be
charged with constructive knowledge. This view is buttressed by the enactment of Executive Order
No. 226, otherwise known as the Institutionalization of the Doctrine of ‘Command Responsibility’ in
all Government Offices, particularly at all Levels of Command in the

Philippine National Police and other Law Enforcement Agencies (E.O. 226). Under E.O. 226, a
government official may be held liable for neglect of duty under the doctrine of command
responsibility if he has knowledge that a crime or offense shall be committed, is being committed, or
has been committed by his subordinates, or by others within his area of responsibility and, despite
such knowledge, he did not take preventive or corrective action either before, during, or
immediately after its commission. Knowledge of the commission of irregularities, crimes or offenses
is presumed when (a) the acts are widespread within the government official’s area of jurisdiction;
(b) the acts have been repeatedly or regularly committed within his area of responsibility; or (c)
members of his immediate staff or office personnel are involved.

Pursuant to the doctrine of command responsibility, the President, as the Commander-in-Chief of


the AFP, can be held liable for affront against the petitioner’s rights to life, liberty and security as
long as substantial evidence exist to show that he or she had exhibited involvement in or can be
imputed with knowledge of the violations, or had failed to exercise necessary and reasonable
diligence in conducting the necessary investigations required under the rules.

The Court also stresses that rule that the presidential immunity from suit exists only in
concurrence with the president’s incumbency. Conversely, this presidential privilege of
immunity cannot be invoked by a non-sitting president even for acts committed during his or her
tenure. Courts look with disfavor upon the presidential privilege of immunity, especially when it
impedes the search for truth or impairs the vindication of a right.

The petitioner, however, is not exempted from the burden of proving by substantial evidence his
allegations against the President to make the latter liable for either acts or omissions violative of
rights against life, liberty and security. In the instant case, the petitioner merely included the
President’s name as a party respondent without any attempt at all to show the latter’s actual
involvement in, or knowledge of the alleged violations. Further, prior to the filing of the petition,
there was no request or demand for any investigation that was brought to the President’s attention.
Thus, while the President cannot be completely dropped as a respondent in a petition for the
privilege of the writs of amparo and habeas data merely on the basis of the presidential immunity
from suit, the petitioner in this case failed to establish accountability of the President, as
commander-in-chief, under the doctrine of command responsibility.