Palace respects writ of amparo on Gadian

May 22, 2009 9:44 pm 

MANILA, May 22 – Malacañang on Friday said it respects the right for issuance of a writ of amparo on 2007 RP-US Balikatan exercises fund scam whistle-blower Navy Lt. (sg) Nancy Gadian.

”We hope that Lt. (sg) Gadian will come out in the open and shed light on the issue,” said Press Secretary Cerge Remonde and Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III during Friday’s regular press briefing at the New Executive Building (NEB) in San Miguel, Manila.

Remonde and Bello also aired hopes that the military justice system will prevail.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court (SC) asked the military leadership to answer the petition for writ of amparo, or protection, filed by Nedina Diamante, on behalf of her sister Nancy Gadian, who had gone into hiding for over a week after exposing alleged irregularities in the disbursement of military funds for the RP-US Balikatan exercises in 2007.

Diamante claimed that they have been receiving threats since her sister made the revelation. Among those accused by Gadian of benefiting from the Balikatan fund was former Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Eugenio Cedo.

Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro said in an earlier report that the Armed Forces wanted to avoid a scenario where military personnel, facing disciplinary actions like Gadian, might go to the Supreme Court and ask for writ of amparo, thereby delaying the military justice system.

“So we are hoping that the court will be careful and seriously study (petition for a writ of amparo)before granting relief that is asked in the future… This may have an implication to all who are facing ESB (efficiency and separation board) or court martial proceedings or AWOL for that matter,” said Teodoro.

Gadian faces charges of insubordination for lavish spending of the P2.3 million, part of the Balikatan fund for 2007. She had been marked AWOL (absent without leave) and a deserter for failing to report to the Navy after her leave lapsed on April 22.

“The implication here is there will be left and right petition for amparo, including those who are facing charges for violation of human rights and appearing before us. Their lawyers may resort to this always and we will be busy answering writs of amparo,” said Teodoro. Meanwhile, Gadian did not heed the 48-hour ultimatum that lapsed at 10 a.m Friday, set by the Navy for her to turn herself in. (PNA)

RMA/JCA

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