SC Dismisses Amparo and Habeas Corpus Petition against Anakbayan

September 18, 2020

The Supreme Court has dismissed the petition for the issuance of the writs of amparo and habeas corpus filed by the parents of 19-year old Alicia Jasper Lucena against the youth group Anakbayan.

In a decision penned by Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta in G.R. No. 252120 (Lucena and Lucena v. Elago, et al.) promulgated on September 15, the High Court ruled that the plea of Alicia’s parents, spouses Francis and Relissa Lucena, for the issuance of a writ of amparo is not proper and that the prayer for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus lacks merit.

The Court held that the remedy of amparo, in its present formulation, confined merely to instances of extralegal killings or enforced disappearances and to threats thereof.

In the case at bar, the Court said that there is not much issue that Alicia Jasper or AJ’s situation does not qualify either as an actual or threatened enforced disappearance or extralegal killing. It further said that AJ is not missing and her whereabouts are determinable and is staying with the Anakbayan and its officers.

On the issue of writ of habeas corpus, the Court held that the Rules of Court envisions the writ as a remedy applicable to cases of illegal confinement or detention where a person is deprived of his or her liberty, or where the rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto.

The Court noted that it did not appear that AJ had been deprived of her liberty or that petitioners had been excluded from their rightful custody over the person of AJ. The petitioners, the Court said, failed to make a case that AJ is being detained or is being kept by the Anakbayan against her free will.

Since the petitioner’s daughter has already attained the age of majority, which is 18-years old, AJ, in the eyes of the State, has earned the right to make independent choices with respect to the places where she wants to stay, as well as to the persons whose company she wants to keep.

The SC Public Information Office will upload the decision to the website once it is available. ###