CA urges release of 'Ilocos Six', "It is a matter of habeas corpus"


Jun. 12, 2017 ...

After the House's refusal to release the six employees of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN), the Court of Appeals (CA) is urging the House Sergeant-at-Arms (SAA) to submit an explanation on why he settled for contempt, failing to present the detained officials.

The Court of Appeals has already issued a show cause order addressed to SAA Lt. Gen. Roland M. Detabali (retired).

Earlier, the CA has warned Detabali for being cited in contempt if he ignores the order for the third time.

Lawyer Butch Catubay, legal counsel of the "Ilocos Six" stated that according to the CA, the Court has jurisdiction since it is a "matter of a habeas corpus case," thus the jurisprudence and the decisions of the court is "concurrent with the Supreme Court (SC) and the Regional Trial Court when it comes to habeas corpus cases."

In an interview, Sangguniang Panlalawigan member and lawyer Vicentito Lazo reiterated Catubay's statement emphasizing: "it is not a question of 'powers and jurisdiction' between CA and SC for it is a habeas corpus case, and "under an existing law the CA has jurisdiction to the said cases."

"We must follow the rule of law," he added.

The legal counsel, Lawyer Estelito Mendoza called the interrogation last May 29, led by Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Rodolfo "Rudy" Fariñas with the House Committee "coercive" and "amounting to torture."

This torture has thus been "continuous by their indefinite detention in degrading and inhuman conditions and direct assaults on their 'dignity as human persons' and blatant violations of their human rights."

Thus, Special Fourth Division Acting Chairperson Stephen C. Cruz and Associate Appellate Justices Edwin D. Sorongon and Nina G. Antonion-Valenzuela granted the petitioners an Order of Release on June 9, directing the release of the "Ilocos Six'' who sought a petition for the writ of habeas corpus.

Led by the CA Sherriff accompanied by the legal counsels of the 'Ilocos Six', the CA process server attempted to serve the order of release twice, on June 9 and 10 but was repeatedly not accepted by the House.

Meanwhile, CA process server is eyeing to file his reports tomorrow, June 13, to the Clerk of Court of the Fourth Division after incidents of being blocked from entering House in attempt to serve the "immediate" order of release of the six detained employees.