MANILA — The Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) has sought for a protection order for the two environmental defenders who said they were abducted by the military.
In a petition to the Supreme Court, FLAG requested that authorities involved should not be allowed within at least a kilometer radius from the activists and their family.
The group added that Jonila Castro and Jhed Tamano fear for their lives and their loved ones, hence the need for the Writ of Amparo and Writ of Habeas Data.
"Considering the threat that they perceive that they would suffer and especially the fact that they were abducted by elements of the state... because of all those circumstances, it will be prudent to ask the protection of the court through the filing of the writ of amparo," said lawyer Dino De Leon, their legal counsel.
In an interview on ANC on Saturday, De Leon said they are hopeful the Supreme Court would grant the protective writs amid the "strong pieces of evidence" that they have.
There were eyewitnesses accounts, Castro and Tamano's testimony, and pieces of posts and documentary evidence "showing indeed there was an abduction that happened in Bataan."
Considering all these, the lawyer said, would be "more than enough" substantial evidence for the Supreme Court in their petition.
"We are very hopeful and... we defer to the Supreme Court considering the fact that the case is already pending before them," he said.
In their petition, FLAG also sought to declare the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) as responsible for the environmentalists' disappearance and illegal detention.
De Leon said the task force must "ultimately be held responsible" with what happened.
"NTF-ELCAC's standing must be refuted and members of the defense department and the Armed Forces of the Philippines should also make sure that they protect Jhed and Jolina," he said.
"They should not allow any members of the Armed Forces to drag down the very good name of the Armed Forces of the Philippines," he added.
Jonathan Malaya, assistant director-general at the National Security Council, earlier said the two might face perjury charges for allegedly lying despite signed affidavits.
The NTF-ELCAC and police in a press conference earlier this month said that Castro and Tamano had surrendered to the Army's 70th Infantry Battalion in Bulacan province.
They also said that the two had signed affidavits and that they had voluntarily left "the communist movement".