SC’s help sought to find 2 missing KMU volunteers

Published August 10, 2022, 4:25 PM

by Rey Panaligan 

Supreme Court

The relatives of two volunteers of the militant Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday, Aug. 10, to issue protection orders to Elizabeth “Loi” Magbanua and Alipio “Ador” and to help in locating them after they went missing last May 3 after attending a meeting in Valenzuela City.

They filed a petition for a Writ of Amparo with pleas for temporary protection order and inspection order.

They believed that their relatives have been arrested by the military and detained in a military camp, either at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City or Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.

The joint petition was filed for Loi by her niece Alyssa Marie Condez Magbanua and her long-time partner Ruth H. Maglalan. For Ador, the petition was filed by his eldest daughter Maureen T. Juat.

They were assisted by lawyer Minerva F. Lopez of the Gabriela Legal Services and lawyer Armando C. Teodoro Jr. of the Pro-Labor Legal Assistance Center.

Named respondents in the petition were Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro and other senior military officers, and retired Gen. Ricardo F. De Leon, officer-in-charge of the Department of National Defense (DND).

The SC was told that at the time of Loi’s disappearance, she is a volunteer and community organizer for KMU.

Ador, on the other hand, is a veteran activist. The SC was also told that both Loi and Ador were engaged in community organizing work in Tondo, Manila.

The petitioners said that have gone to various police precincts and hospitals to look for Loi and Ador and failed to locate them.

Thus, they petitioned the SC to compel the military to allow them to inspect Camp Aguinaldo and Fort Magsaysay where their kins are reportedly detained.

The SC had ruled that persons whose rights to life, liberty and security are threatened by law enforcers, their proper remedy before the courts is to file a petition for a Writ of Amparo.

Writ of Amparo (a Spanish word that means protection) “is a special writ to protect or enforce a constitutional right other than physical liberty.” The rules on the Writ of Amparo were approved by the SC in September 2007.