Family filed writ of amparo over 83rd IBPA’s illegal arrest, detention of civilian

By Reynard Magtoto

SANGAY, CAMARINES SUR – To seek justice, Narvaez family filed writ of amparo on July 26 against the illegal arrest and detention of their son, Antonio, by the troops of 83rd Battalion of 9th Infantry Division of Philippine Army.

Antonio Narvaez who belongs to the indigenous group Aeta in Camarines Sur was illegally arrested and detained when these troops led by 2nd Lt. Coram accused Antonio as NPA member during their alleged combat operations in Sangay, Camarines Sur on July 19.

Capt. Randy Llunar, 9th ID Division Public Affairs Office chief, admitted over the local radio station that 83rd Battalion holds Antonio. He promised to turn over the detained civilian to the PNP office but the family waited for nothing.

On July 23 around 12 midnight, the AFP troops went to the house of the Narvaez family with Antonio. Instead of releasing the victim, AFP troops harassed the family and confiscated their cellphones.

Until now Antonio is in the military camp of 83rd Battalion in Mabalod-balod, Tigaon. There are reports that Antonio is allegedly being used in military operations of the AFP.

The San Jose Regional Trial court in Partido area, Camarines Sur already released order to summon Antonio before the court on Tuesday, August 1, in response to the filed Writ of Amparo.

Writ of Amparo was adopted by the Philippine Supreme Court pursuant to its power under the 1987 Constitution to promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights. It covers the right to life, liberty and security in cases of extralegal killings, enforced disappearances or threats thereof.

The incident

On July 19 at around 1 pm, Antonio’s brother, Alfredo, 22, saw about 10 soldiers in the mountainous part of Turague going to the direction of his uncle’s house, located in the upper part of the mountain. At 4 pm, Antonio fetched water for his sickly uncle, Miguelito Narvaez. His uncle was not in his house that time and planned to go home the next day. Antonio brought the fetched water into his uncle’s house and never returned after.

On July 20 at around 6 am, Alfredo went to house of their uncle in the mountain to look for his brother. He found out that the house has been ransacked and he saw many traces of combat shoes outside.

According to the fact sheet of Camarines Sur Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace, Alfredo was frightened and immediately thought that the soldiers took his brother. His parents, Nieves Narvaez, 50, and Marcelo Narvaez, 70, filed a blotter report in their barangay on July 21.

Violations under the law

The illegal arrest and detention of Antonio is a clear violation of Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) which is recognized by the government and the revolutionary movement.

The 83rd IBPA also violated the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines.

Under Article 124 on Arbitrary detention, any public officer or employee cannot detain a person without any legal grounds. There was no arrest warrant present to Antonio when he was arrested.

Until now 83rd IBPA holds Antonio which is against the law that they should deliver Antonio to the proper judicial authorities within the period of 12 hours for crimes or offenses punishable by light penalties, 18 hours for crimes or offenses punishable by correctional penalties and 36 hours for crimes or offenses punishable by afflictive or capital penalties.

The law also does not allow any public officer or employee, without authorization or legal documents such search warrant, to enter any house and search for papers and other documents.

Narvaez family clarified that the elements of the 83rd IBPA were forced to enter and search the house without the search warrant.

NDF Bicol condemns 83rd IBPA, 9th ID

According to National Democratic Front Bicol, the case of Antonio Narvaez is just one of the long lists of 9th IDPA in human rights violations.

“This is the face of the Philippine army. An army that does not have the least respect for human rights and laws that it protect. An army free of twisting truth and bridging the media as mass advocates despite their people’s crimes. An army fearlessly violates the rights of the people because they are protected by the country’s top officials. Through Duterte’s all-out war: the Oplan Tokhang war, the counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan and Martial Law, the people are experiencing further worsening human rights situation in the hands of military butchers,” Ma Roja Banua, NDF Bicol spokesperson, said.

According to Banua, the people cannot expect the state to defend their rights because it is itself the advocate of the war against the people. There is no protection for the people under this state that violates its own laws only to its fascist and imperialist forces.

Banua added that the people can only hold on their own strengths from the organized and united forces of oppressed and exploited classes.

The revolutionary movement in Bicol challenges the media practitioners in the region to fulfill its mandate to deliver the true situation in the region, outside the dictates of the army and to become part of the human rights defender.

NDF-Bicol also calls on all people’s lawyers to assist Antonio Narvaez’s case and other victims of human rights violations by contacting legal organizations that defend civil rights such as Karapatan. (BaretangBikolnon.com)

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