SC grants lawmaker’s bid for writ of habeas data over ‘narco list’ inclusion

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 28)— The Supreme Court (SC) has granted a Leyte politician’s appeal for a writ of habeas data amid his inclusion in the government’s drug watch list.

In a resolution dated June 17 and released Friday, the high court issued Leyte Representative Vicente Veloso the writ of habeas data over his petition questioning his inclusion in the controversial “narco list.”

A writ of habeas data is a legal remedy available for those “whose 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, family, home and correspondence of the aggrieved party.”

It lets the court “order the deletion, destruction, or rectification of the erroneous data or information and grant other relevant reliefs as may be just and equitable.”

Veloso’s petition, dated April 25, sought the “rectification, suppression or destruction” of the database or information that tagged him as an alleged narco politician.

The Congressman-elect was among the dozens of politicians named by President Rodrigo Duterte in a “somewhat validated” narco list he read aloud during a speech last March.

Veloso earlier told CNN Philippines that he would sue the individuals who implicated him in the said tally. 

"Puro ito [This is all] hearsay," Veloso said.

SC also ordered concerned government officials to comment and submit a written return of writ before the Court of Appeals within five days.