SC issues writ of amparo for missing peasant organizers in Tarlac

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 9) — The Supreme Court (SC) has issued a writ of amparo in favor of two women activists who have been missing for months after allegedly receiving threats from uniformed personnel.

The court on Friday said it released a resolution on Nov. 29 for the issuance of the writ, which compels a number of military and police officials to respond proving they did not violate the right to life, liberty, and security of peasant organizers Ma. Elena "Cha" Pampoza and Elgene "Leleng" Mungcal.

The respondents - which include Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro and Philippine National Police chief PGen Rodolfo Azurin - must also state in their response the steps they have taken or will take to determine the fate or whereabouts of the two.

They must file a verified written return within 20 days after the writ of amparo was served.

The Kilusan ng Manggagawang Kababaihan earlier said Pampoza and Mungcal went missing in Tarlac on July 3 "following a series of threats, surveillance and other forms of harassment from uniformed personnel."

"We see no other reason for their sudden disappearance than their active involvement in the fight for higher wages, an end to contractualization, gender equality, human rights, and genuine social change," the group said in a statement in October.

Meanwhile, the high court also granted the temporary protection order prohibiting the respondents from going within a one-kilometer radius of Pampoza's daughter, who filed the petition for the writ of amparo.

In August, the SC also issued the same writ for two other missing activists, Kilusang Mayo Uno volunteers Elizabeth "Loi" Magbanua and Alipio "Ador" Juat.