Monday, February 6, 2012

Castillo v Cruz (2009) Gr No 182165

J. Morales

Respondent Cruz spouses leased a parcel of land situated at Barrio Guinhawa, Malolos. They refused to vacate the property, despite demands by the lessor Provincial Government of Bulacan which intended to utilize it for local projects.
The local government filed charges in the MTC, which in turn decided against the spouses.
RTC affirmed the decision.
The spouses didn’t vacate and continued to file cases in the Malolos RTC. The court suspended the demolition against the property, a determination of the property bounds, and a remanding of the case by means of a writ of injunction.
The respondents filed a MFR in the MTC. The court ruled in their favor and issued another demolition order.
In order to stop the demolition, the spouses parked container vans around the property.
Superintendent Castillo was told by the mayor to enter the property for maintaining its possession.
Respondents refused. The y filed for a Petition for a writ of amparo and habeas data in Malolos RTC
The same people claimed that the respondents entered the property forcefully with heavy equipment  and arrested them. RTC ruled in their favor.

Issue:  Is the writ of amparo and habeas data the correct remedy for the spouses predicament?

Held: No. Petition dismissed

The Court is, under the Constitution, empowered to promulgate rules for the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights.
As a response to extrajudicial killings, the court promulgated the Rule on the Writ of Amparo on Oct. 24, 2007 and the Rule on Habeas Data on 2008. This power was inherent in the Constitutional grant to the courts to promulgate rules for human rights.
Definitions of the Writs:
a. Writ of Amparo- an available course of action “to any person whose right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity”
b. Writ of Habeas Data- a course that can be taken when the “right to privacy in life, liberty or security is violated or threatened by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee or of a private individual or entity engaged in the gathering, collecting or storing of data or information regarding the person”.
The limitation of the writs was in the protection of rights of life, liberty, and security.
Sec of National Defense v Manalo- limitation of the Amparo was to extralegal killings and enforced disappearances.
There must be a violation of these rights by means of an unlawful act. There must be a connection between the acts and effects of the aforementioned rights.
Tapuz v Del Rosario- “What it is not, is a writ to protect concerns that are purely property or commercial.  Neither is it a writ that we shall issue on amorphous and uncertain grounds.”
The same case states that the court will only issue the writ after determining the facts ‘ existence from the supporting affidavits of thNotably, none of the supporting affidavits compellingly show that the threat to the rights to life, liberty and security of the petitioners is imminent or continuing.”
There was no threat to the said rights by the petitioners use of force. They were only protecting property rights. Their affidavit said: “Wala kaming nagawa  ipagtanggol ang aming karapatan sa lupa na 45 years naming “IN POSSESSION.”
Regarding habeas data, there was no allegation of the data collection requirement.
The writs cant be used to stall the execution of a property dispute decision.
The filing should have been barred after their arrest. This was due to the institution of criminal proceedings running first. They may avail of the reliefs as a motion.
The filed the writs in the Sandiganbayan, but dismissed for form shopping and insufficiency.

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