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Kami rin! More militant groups run to SC after grant of NUPL’s plea for protection vs. red-tagging

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After the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) secured a protection order, the Supreme Court (SC) has been asked to issue ones also to Karapatan, Gabriela and the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) due to threats against them after being “red-tagged” by the government.

Represented by the NUPL, the groups filed a joint petition on Monday (May 6) asking for the issuance of a writ of amparo and habeas data.

In their petition, the groups lamented that they have been tagged by the government as affiliated with communist rebels which has “aggravated the threats against the life, liberty and security of the petitioners because it is an expression of a government policy directed against legitimate civil society organizations, activist and human rights defenders like the petitioners in this case.”

“The adverse effect of such red tagging has been recognized, since it has resulted in the harassment, intimidation, killings, abductions and even the filing of trumped up charges against them,” they stated.

“As it is, the Writ of Amparo affords a remedy to any person whose right to life, liberty, and security is transgressed or are threatened to be violated by an unlawful act or omission of a public officer or private entities. On the other hand, the writ of habeas data is available to any person whose right to privacy in life, liberty or security is violated or threatened by an unlawful act of any public official or of a private individual or entity engaged in the gathering, collecting or storing of data or information,” the petitioners added.

Just last May 3, the SC granted the petition of NUPL to issue a protection order against the government.

“The Supreme Court, in a special En Banc session held on Friday, issued a writ of amparoand habeas data in favor of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL),” read a statement from the high tribunal.

In its petition, the NUPL sought the protection order which would prevent Duterte and the military from threatening and harming NUPL members.

“The present Duterte administration has shown open disdain for human rights activists and lawyers,” the NUPL lamented in its petition.

The NUPL cited that Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deputy chief of staff Brigadier General Antonio Parlade Jr. has already publicly described the NUPL as part of the “international network of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.”