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Writ of Amparo Denied for Being Moot and Academic

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Discussion by Atty Laserna.
  Writ of amparo denied for being moot and academic. - G.R. Nos. 184379-80  G.R. Nos. 184379-80 x x x. Third issue: Grant of the privilege of the writ of  amparo  A.    Alleged violation of or threat to the right to life, liberty and security of Lozada Sections 17 and 18 of the Rule on the Writ of  Amparo  reuires the !arties toestalish their clai#s $ sustantial e%idence& '7()  or such rele%ant e%idence as areasonale #ind #i*ht acce!t as adeuate to su!!ort a conclusion. '7+)  ,he use of this e%identiar$ threshold re%eals the clear intent of the fra#ers of the Rule on theWrit of   Amparo to ha%e the eui%alent of an ad#inistrati%e !roceedin*& aleit udiciall$ conducted& in addressin* amparo situations. '77) n cases /here the %iolation of the ri*ht to life& liert$ or securit$ has alread$ceased& it is necessar$ for the !etitioner in an amparo action to !ro%e the existenceof a continuin* threat. '78)  ,hus& this ourt held in its Resolution in  Razon v. Tagitis  '79)    Manalo  is different fro# Tagitis  in ter#s of their factual settin*s& as enforceddisappearance was no longer a problem in tat case. !e enforced disappearance of tebroters Ra mond and Re naldo #analo effecti$el ended wen te escaped fromcapti$it and s%rfaced & /hile ,a*itis is still no/here to e found and re#ains #issin* #orethan t/o $ears after his re!orted disa!!earance. &n  Amparo  sit%ation s%bsisted in  Manalo 'owe$er' beca%se of te contin%ing treat to te broters( rigt to sec%rit 2 the rothersclai#ed that since the !ersons res!onsile for their enforced disa!!earance /ere still at lar*e andhad not een held accountale& the for#er /ere still under the threat of ein* once a*ainaducted& e!t ca!ti%e or e%en illed& /hich threat constituted a direct %iolation of their ri*ht tosecurit$ of !erson. '80)     5#!hasis su!!lied.6 n the !resent case& the totalit$ of the e%idence adduced $ !etitioners failedto #eet the threshold of sustantial e%idence. Siftin* throu*h all the e%idence andalle*ations !resented& the crux of the case oils do/n to assessin* the %eracit$ andcrediilit$ of the !arties di%er*in* clai#s as to /hat actuall$ trans!ired on (-+eruar$ 008. n this re*ard& this ourt is in a*ree#ent /ith the factual findin*sof the : to the extent that ;o<ada /as not ille*all$ de!ri%ed of his liert$ fro#the !oint /hen he dise#ared fro# the aircraft u! to the ti#e he /as led to thede!arture area of the air!ort& '81)  as he %oluntaril$ su#itted hi#self to the custod$of res!ondents ';o<ada) /as one of the first fe/ !assen*ers to *et off the !lane ecause he /asinstructed $ Secretar$ :tien<a& th'r)ou*h a !hone call on the ni*ht of 04 eruar$ 008& /hilehe /as still in =on* >on*& to proceed directl to te )%rea% of *mmigration so tat fewpeople wo%ld notice im and e co%ld be facilitated in going o%t of te airport  /ithout an$hassle fro# the !eo!le of the Senate Ser*eant-at-:r#s. :*ain& ';o<ada) stated that he /anted to  *et a/a$ fro# the Senate !eo!le. ';o<ada) e%en /ent to the #ens roo# of the air!ort& after he/as alle*edl$ ?*raed@& /here he #ade a call to his rother :rturo& usin* his Gloe !hone& andhe /as not !re%ented fro# #ain* said call& and /as si#!l$ ad%ised $ the !erson /ho #et hi#at the tue to sic6 ?  sir, bilisan mo na @. When the$ !roceeded out of the tue and /hile /alin*&';o<ada) heard fro# the radio trac do/n& ? wag kayo dyan, sir, nandyan yong mga tagaSenado @& so the$ too a detour and /ent u! to the de!arture area& did not *o out of the nor#alarri%al area& and !roceeded to/ards the ele%ator near the Aut$ ree Sho! and then do/n to/ardsthe tar#ac. +ince ,oada/ was a$oiding te people from te ffice of te +enate +ergeant-at-&rms' said deto%r appears to eplain w te did not get o%t at te arri$al area & /here';o<ada) could ha%e !assed throu*h i##i*ration so that his !ass!ort could e !ro!erl$ sta#!ed. !is 2o%rt does not find an e$idence on record tat ,oada/ str%ggled or made ano%tcr for elp wen e was allegedl grabbed or abd%cted at te airport. ,oada/e$en testified tat nobod eld im' and te were not ostile to im nor so%ted atim.  With noon da$ clarit$& this ourt finds that the reason /h$ ';o<ada) /as fetched at theair!ort /as to hel! hi# a%oid the Senate contin*ent& /ho /ould arrest and detain hi# at theBffice of the Senate Ser*eant-at-:r#s& until such ti#e that he /ould a!!ear and *i%e histesti#on$& !ursuant to the Brder of the Senate on the NCN-D,5 Eroect. ,oada/ clearl 5newtis beca%se at tat time' it was still is decision not to testif before te +enate. 6e agreedwit tat plan. '8)   5#!hases su!!lied.6 ,he fore*oin* state#ents sho/ that ;o<ada !ersonall$ sou*ht the hel! of Sec. :tien<a to a%oid the Senate !ersonnel& and thus ne/ that the #en /ho #ethi# at the air!ort /ere there to aid hi# in such oecti%e. Surel$& the actions of ;o<ada e%inced no/led*e and %oluntariness& uncharacteristic of so#eone /hoclai#s to ha%e een forcil$ aducted.=o/e%er& these #ens suseuent acts of directin* ;o<ada to oard the%ehicle and dri%in* hi# around& /ithout disclosin* the exact !ur!ose thereof&a!!ear to e e$ond /hat he had consented to and reuested fro# Sec. :tien<a.,hese #en neither infor#ed hi# of /here he /as ein* trans!orted nor !ro%idedhi# co#!lete liert$ to contact his fa#il$ #e#ers to assure the# of his safet$.,hese acts de#onstrated that he laced asolute control o%er the situation& as /ellas an effecti%e ca!acit$ to challen*e their instructions. Ne%ertheless& it #ust e e#!hasi<ed that if ;o<ada had in fact een ille*all$restrained& so #uch so that his ri*ht to liert$ and securit$ had een %iolated& theacts that #anifested tis restraint ad alread ceased  and has conseuentl$rendered the *rant of the !ri%ile*e of the /rit of amparo   moot . Whether or not;o<ada /as de!ri%ed of his liert$ fro# the !oint /hen he /as led inside the%ehicle /aitin* for hi# at the air!ort u! to the ti#e he /as taen to ;a Salle Green=ills& !etitioners assertions that ;o<ada and his fa#il$ continue to suffer %ariousthreats fro# res!ondents re#ain un!ro%en. ,he : correctl$ found as follo/s !e s%pposed anno%ncement of General Raon o$er te radio tat ,oada/ was inte c%stod of te N  can neither e construed as a threat to ';o<adas) life& liert$ and  securit$. ertainl$& no person in is rigt mind wo%ld ma5e tat 5ind of mediaanno%ncement if is intent was indeed to treaten somebod (s life' libert and sec%rit .xxx xxx xxx=e clai#s that he is threatened $ the alle*ed presence of armed men riding inmotorc cle  !assin* outside the Ae ;a Salle !re#ises /here he and his fa#il$ are sta$in* and $alle*ed threats of ar#ed #en around hi# at !laces /here he /ent to. :*ain& these alle*ed threats/ere not pro$en b an e$idence at all' as a$ing srcinated from an of te respondents .';o<ada) also considers the installation of te s%r$eillance camera at te e a +alleand at +t. +colastica  as indirect threat to his ri*ht to life& liert$ and securit$. =e clai#s thatthese are s!$ ca#eras. =o/e%er& sa%e for ';o<adas) self-ser%in* clai#& he si#!l$ failed topro$e tat te were installed or ordered installed b te respondents for the !ur!ose of threatenin* his ri*ht to life& liert$ and securit$.';o<ada) further #aintains that there is an alle*ed trend&   i.e.& /here%er he *oes& there isa bomb treat . ,here /ere o# threats in the !laces /here he /ent to lie in 'the Eol$technicFni%ersit$ of the Ehili!!ines)& Aa*u!an& eu and Cohol. =o/e%er& ';o<ada) hi#self testifiedthat he did not tr$ to ascertain /here the o# threats e#anated. Elainl$& there is no e$idence onrecord tat te bomb treats were made b te respondents or done %pon teir instigation .oreo%er& ';o<ada) %ie/s the !ronounce#ent of the Secretar$ of Hustice that he /as  put on the watch list of the ureau of !mmigration  as a threat to his life& liert$ and securit$. ,hisalle*ed threat is a*ain unsu!!orted $ e%idence& as in fact& ';o<ada) testified that e did notascertain from te )%rea% of *mmigration weter is name was act%all in te officialwatc list of te )%rea%. :t an$ rate& the Secretar$ of Hustice is not one of the res!ondents inthe amparo  !etition& and there is no sho/in* in the record that it /as the res!ondents /hoordered the sa#e for the !ur!ose of threatenin* hi#.';o<ada) har!s on the filin* of alle*ed fri$olo%s cases against im and is famil asthreat to his life& liert$ and securit$. xxx =o/e%er& ,oada/ imself testified tat e does not5now weter te respondents or an of te respondents ordered te filing of tese casesagainst im. *n an e$ent' said p%rported cases are to be determined based on teir ownmerits and are clearl be ond te realm of te instant amparo petition filed against terespondents . '83)  5#!hasis su!!lied.6 inall$& !etitioners insist that /hile the$ /ere ale to sufficientl$ estalishtheir case $ the reuired e%identiar$ standard& res!ondents failed to dischar*etheir urden to !ro%e their defenses $ sustantial e%idence and to sho/ thatres!ondents exercised extraordinar$ dili*ence as reuired $ the Rule on the Writof  Amparo. '84)  ,his ourt has suarel$ !assed u!on this contention in ano v.Sanchez  & '8()  to /it   ,he failure to estalish that the !ulic official oser%ed extraordinar$ dili*ence in the !erfor#ance of dut$ does not result in the auto#atic *rant of the !ri%ile*e of the amparo  /rit. tdoes not relie%e the !etitioner fro# estalishin* his or her clai# $ sustantial e%idence. ,hus& in amparo actions& !etitioners #ust estalish their clai#s $sustantial e%idence& and the$ cannot #erel$ rel$ on the su!!osed failure of res!ondents to !ro%e either their defenses or their exercise of extraordinar$dili*ence. n this case& the totalit$ of the e%idence !resented $ !etitioners fails to#eet the reuisite e%identiar$ threshold& and the !ri%ile*e of the /rit  of amparo has alread$ een rendered #oot and acade#ic $ the cessation of therestraint to ;o<adas liert$.  .    !ropriety of the privilege of the writ of  amparo and its interim reliefs :s !re%iousl$ discussed& there is no asis to *rant ;o<ada the !ri%ile*e of the /rit of  amparo & considerin* that the ille*al restraint alle*ed in this case hadalread$ ceased and there is no i##inent or continuin* restriction on hisliert$ . n #astillo v. #ruz, '8+)  this ourt held as follo/s   :lthou*h res!ondents release fro# confine#ent does not necessaril$ hinder su!!licationfor the /rit of   amparo & absent an e$idence or e$en an allegation in te petition tat tere is%nd%e and contin%ing restraint on teir libert & andIor that there exists threat or inti#idationthat destro$s the efficac$ of their ri*ht to e secure in their !ersons& the issuance of the /ritcannot e ustified. 5#!hasis su!!lied.6 urther& it a!!ears that ;o<ada had alread$ filed efore the Ae!art#ent of Hustice ABH6 a o#!laint char*in* res!ondents /ith idna!!in* and atte#!ted#urder& doceted as .S. No. 008-4+7. '87)  n this re*ard& this ourts rulin*in  Rubrico v. Arroyo '88)   is /orth considerin* irst& a criminal complaint for 5idnapping and' alternati$el ' for arbitrar detentionrooted in te same acts and incidents leading to te filing of te s%bect amparo  petition asbeen instit%ted wit te #)' doc5eted as #)--2-7-0:0;-<.  ,he usual initial ste!s todeter#ine the existence of a  prima facie  case a*ainst the fi%e (6 i#!leaded indi%idualssus!ected to e actuall$ in%ol%ed in the detention of ;ourdes ha%e een set in #otion. t #ust e !ointed out& thou*h& that the filin* of the BC co#!laint ca#e efore the effecti%it$ of the  Amparo Rule on Bctoer 4& 007.Second& Sec.  of the  Amparo  Rule !roscries the filin* of an amparo  !etition should acri#inal action ha%e& in the #ean/hile& een co##enced. ,he succeedin* Sec. 3& on the other hand& !ro%ides that /hen the cri#inal suit is filed suseuent to a !etition for amparo & the !etition shall e consolidated /ith the cri#inal action /here the  Amparo Rule shall nonetheless*o%ern the dis!osition of the relief under the Rule. Fnder the ter#s of said Sec. & the !resent !etition ou*ht to ha%e een dis#issed at the outset. Cut as thin*s stand& the outri*ht dis#issal of the !etition $ force of that section is no lon*er technicall$ feasile in li*ht of the inter!la$ of thefollo/in* factual #ix 16 the ourt has& !ursuant to Sec. + of the Rule& alread$ issued ex !artethe /rit of amparo 2 6 the :& after a su##ar$ hearin*& has dis#issed the !etition& ut not onthe asis of Sec. 2 and 36 the co#!laint in BC-E--B7-0+0-5 na#ed as res!ondents onl$those elie%ed to e the actual aductors of ;ourdes& /hile the instant !etition i#!leaded& inaddition& those tased to in%esti*ate the idna!!in* and detention incidents and their su!eriors atthe to!. Jet& the acts andIor o#issions suect of the cri#inal co#!laint and the amparo  !etitionare so lined as to call for the consolidation of oth !roceedin*s to o%iate the #ischief inherentin a #ulti!licit$-of-suits situation.Gi%en the ao%e !ers!ecti%e and to full$ a!!l$ the eneficial nature of the /ritof  amparo  as an inex!ensi%e and effecti%e tool to !rotect certain ri*hts %iolated or threatened to e %iolated& the ourt here$ adusts to a de*ree the literal a!!lication of Secs.  and 3 of the  Amparo Rule to fittin*l$ address the situation otainin* under the !re#ises. ,o/ards thisend& t/o thin*s are at once indicated 16 the consolidation of the !roe and fact-findin* as!ectsof the instant !etition /ith the in%esti*ation of the cri#inal co#!laint efore the BC2 and 6
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