MANILA — The families of labor organizers Elizabeth "Loi" Magbanua and Alipio "Ador" Juat welcomed the privilege of the writ of amparo issued by the Court of Appeals in favor of the missing activists.
According to Rutsi Manglalan, Magbanua's longtime partner, she was surprised at the appellate court's decision.
"Actually, nagulat ako kasi maraming kaso ng writ of amparo na hindi siya positive 'yung outcome," she told ANC's "Headstart" Monday. "I'm really grateful for the three justices for that decision, in siding with the truth and with justice."
The petitioner’s lawyer, Minnie Lopez, called the ruling a victory, which she said was granted for the "first time in a long time" to political activists.
"Welcome ito. Malaking bagay ito para dun sa mga pamilya ng mga biktima ng enforced disappearance dahil nagkakaroon sila ng tiwala doon sa remedy," she said.
"Of course, this is just a start kasi 'yung implementaion nito will have to really be in accord dun sa purpose ng batas, which is ma-surface 'yung mga victims and the same time to provide protection to their families."
Magbanua and Juat went missing after leaving a meeting in Valenzuela City on May 3.
Juat was able to tell his daughters that he is being detained in Camp Aguinaldo, the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, while there was no information as to the where Magbanua was taken.
The CA directed government forces to use all resources at their disposal to assist in locating the two activists.
The appellate court also issued a permanent protective order in favor of Magbanua and Juat and their families, which would prevent security and intelligence forces from conducting surveillance or going near them.
The heads of the AFP, the Department of National Defense, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, and the Philippine Army, as well as the heads of the intelligence and civil-military operations units of the AFP, have denied having knowledge about the abduction.