CA junks release of student suspected as NPA member

Published November 19, 2019, 1:28 PM

by CJ Juntereal

By Rey Panaligan

The Court of Appeals (CA) has dismissed the petition for the release of a student who was arrested and detained by the military since September 14 in Quezon province on suspicion of being a member of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Court of Appeals (MANILA BULLETIN)
Court of Appeals (MANILA BULLETIN)

In a decision written by Associate Justice Geraldine Fiel Macaraig, the CA ruled that Alexandrea P. Pacalda cannot avail herself of the writ of habeas corpus because she had been charged criminally in court.

“Once the person detained is duly charged in court, he may no longer question his detention by a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus,” the CA rules.

“In fine, the petition praying for the release of Alexandrea from detention loses legal mooring, and is rendered moot and academic by the subsequent informations (criminal charges) filed against her before the regional trial court Branch 96 of Catanuan, Quezon…. It thus becomes unnecessary to pass upon the other issues raised in the petition,” the CA said.

A Writ of Habeas Corpus is an order “directing a person detaining another and commanding the former to produce the body of the latter at a designated time and place”  It “extends to all cases of illegal or arbitrary detention by which any person is deprived of his liberty or by which the rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto.”

The petition was filed originally before the Supreme Court (SC) by Alexandrea’s father, Arnulfo R. Pacalda.

The SC issued the writ of habeas corpus and directed the CA to hear and resolve the petition in a resolution dated last October 2.

However, last September 23, the military filed cases of illegal possession of firearms and explosives against Alexandria. The filing of court cases was manifested before the CA by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).

In denying the writ of habeas corpus, the CA also noted that Arnulfo admitted that her daughter, “whom he taught initially to be just an activist was, in fact, a member of the NPA” and added that “the military did not coerce her into surrendering”.

In his petition, Arnulfo said that her daughter was the former managing editor of “The Luzonian,” the official student publication of the Manuel Enverga University in  Lucena City and is a volunteer of the Pinag-isang Lakas ng Magsasaka sa Quezon (PIGLAS-Quezon), a local peasant organization in the province.

He said Alexandrea was arrested without a warrant at about 6 p.m. on September 14 in Barangay Magsaysay, Gen. Luna, Quezon province by six armed men in civilian clothing, who were later identified to be members of the 85th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.

He said her daughter was taken to the headquarters of the 85th Infantry Battalion where she was interrogated without the assistance of a lawyer of her choice.

Later, he said, her daughter was forced to sign an affidavit that she surrendered voluntarily and on assurance that she would be released from detention.

Instead of being released, he said her daughter was taken to the headquarters of the 201st Brigade in Camp General Alfredo Santos in Caluag, Quezon.

He pointed out in his petition that her daughter has been deprived of food and sleep, and has been subjected to psywar and mental torture.

Resolving the petition, the CA said the case “is devoid of merit.”

 
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CA junks release of student suspected as NPA member

Published November 19, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Rey Panaligan

The Court of Appeals (CA) has dismissed the petition for the release of a student who was arrested and detained by the military since September 14 in Quezon province on suspicion of being a member of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Court of Appeals (MANILA BULLETIN)
Court of Appeals (MANILA BULLETIN)

In a decision written by Associate Justice Geraldine Fiel Macaraig, the CA ruled that Alexandrea P. Pacalda cannot avail herself of the writ of habeas corpus because she had been charged criminally in court.

“Once the person detained is duly charged in court, he may no longer question his detention by a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus,” the CA rules.

“In fine, the petition praying for the release of Alexandrea from detention loses legal mooring, and is rendered moot and academic by the subsequent informations (criminal charges) filed against her before the regional trial court Branch 96 of Catanuan, Quezon…. It thus becomes unnecessary to pass upon the other issues raised in the petition,” the CA said.

A Writ of Habeas Corpus is an order “directing a person detaining another and commanding the former to produce the body of the latter at a designated time and place”  It “extends to all cases of illegal or arbitrary detention by which any person is deprived of his liberty or by which the rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto.”

The petition was filed originally before the Supreme Court (SC) by Alexandrea’s father, Arnulfo R. Pacalda.

The SC issued the writ of habeas corpus and directed the CA to hear and resolve the petition in a resolution dated last October 2.

However, last September 23, the military filed cases of illegal possession of firearms and explosives against Alexandria. The filing of court cases was manifested before the CA by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).

In denying the writ of habeas corpus, the CA also noted that Arnulfo admitted that her daughter, “whom he taught initially to be just an activist was, in fact, a member of the NPA” and added that “the military did not coerce her into surrendering”.

In his petition, Arnulfo said that her daughter was the former managing editor of “The Luzonian,” the official student publication of the Manuel Enverga University in  Lucena City and is a volunteer of the Pinag-isang Lakas ng Magsasaka sa Quezon (PIGLAS-Quezon), a local peasant organization in the province.

He said Alexandrea was arrested without a warrant at about 6 p.m. on September 14 in Barangay Magsaysay, Gen. Luna, Quezon province by six armed men in civilian clothing, who were later identified to be members of the 85th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.

He said her daughter was taken to the headquarters of the 85th Infantry Battalion where she was interrogated without the assistance of a lawyer of her choice.

Later, he said, her daughter was forced to sign an affidavit that she surrendered voluntarily and on assurance that she would be released from detention.

Instead of being released, he said her daughter was taken to the headquarters of the 201st Brigade in Camp General Alfredo Santos in Caluag, Quezon.

He pointed out in his petition that her daughter has been deprived of food and sleep, and has been subjected to psywar and mental torture.

Resolving the petition, the CA said the case “is devoid of merit.”

 
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