SC junks petition vs. Anakbayan over student's alleged disappearance

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 18) — The Supreme Court has dismissed the petition for release and protection filed against progressive activist group Anakbayan in connection with the alleged disappearance of a student.

The high court on Friday said the petition for the issuance of a writ of amparo — or protection order from the court — filed by the parents of 18-year-old student Alicia Jasper Lucena was "not proper" as the legal remedy is confined to instances of enforced disappearances and extralegal killings.

"The Court said that there is not much issue that Alicia Jasper or AJ’s situation does not qualify either as an actual or threatened enforced disappearance or extralegal killing," the Supreme Court said, citing the decision penned by Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta on Wednesday.

The magistrates also junked the prayer for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus -- which is an order to bring a detained person before the court to determine if detention is lawful.

Alicia's parents filed the petition in May, claiming their daughter was missing and she was threatened to join and go on hiding with Anakbayan. The student publicly denied that she was "missing," saying she willingly left their home due to abuse.

The Supreme Court noted that Alicia is not missing as she is known to be staying with officers of Anakbayan. It also said that she is of legal age, therefore, free to make her own decisions.

"AJ, in the eyes of the State, has earned the right to make independent choices with respect to the places where she wants to stay, as well as to the persons whose company she wants to keep," the decision read.