CA junks writ of amparo vs. PNP officers

November 7, 2011 10:37 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 7 – The Court of Appeals (CA) has dismissed a petition for the issuance of writ of amparo against several officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) led by former PNP chief Director General Jesus Versoza in connection with the alleged disappearance of the cadaver of a murdered man in Bataan in 2009.

In a ruling penned by Associate Justice Florito Macalino, the CA Fifth Division found no merit to issue a writ of amparo filed by one Imelda Zulueta against Versosa and several PNP officials.

Zulueta claimed that in April 2009, at about 2 a.m., she and her partner Alberto Ocampo were sleeping together with two house guests, namely, Jose Gonzales and Jayson Valencia.

She claimed that some PNP members barged into their home, dragged Gonzales and Ocampo and killed them.

Out of fear for her life, Zulueta left her house after the burial of Ocampo.

But later, Zulueta alleged that Ocampo's remains were forcibly taken by armed men and the body of Gonzales was taken from his tomb in Abucay Cemetery in Abucay, Bataan.

She then filed a petition for the issuance of writ of amparo with prayer for protection order before the Bataan court but it was denied which prompted her to elevate the case before the CA.

A separate criminal case was also filed before the lower court.

However, the CA said that the lower court did not commit error when it dismissed Zulueta's petition.

"What it simply provides is that once a criminal case has been filed in court, no separate petition for a writ of amparo shall be filed," the CA decision said.

As regards Imelda Zulueta's argument that the RTC [Regional Trial Court in Bataan] erred in giving due course to the return belatedly filed by the respondents-appellees on Dec. 14, 2009 because it was filed late without any meritorious ground, this court finds it untenable, the CA ruling said.

Concurring with the decision were Associate Justices Juan Enriquez, Jr. and Ramon Bato, Jr. (PNA) RMA/PTR/utb

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