Writ of Amparo for child used as 'false witness' vs Pangasinan gov, congressman
The father and mother of a 16-year-old is filing today (February 18, 2013) a petition for the Writ of Amparo against the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Department of Justice (DOJ) and an NGO for making the minor as a "false witness" and keeping him in custody.
The father, Jaime G. Aquino, and the mother, Ester I. Aquino, signed the papers to ask the mercy of the Supreme Court to order the respondents to turn over to them their son Jestin and to stop using the child as a false witness.
In the news released by the NBI last February 12, it said that the son accused his own father, Jaime, as being present in a meeting with Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino Jr., Pangasinan 1st District Congressman Jesus Celeste and Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane when they met to discuss the murder plot against Ruperto Martinez, then the incumbent mayor of the town of Infanta in Pangasinan.
Jaime said there was no such meeting that took place and it was not true that he met with Espino, Celeste and Ebdane at the Zambales Provincial Capitol in the town of Iba.
Jaime pointed out in his petition for the Writ of Amparo that the NBI must explain why its agents should believe in the son's alleged testimonies saying the he brought along his son in that meeting.
"No father would do that!" stressed Jaime.
Jaime also pointed out that it takes a father to be extremely bad for the son to want the blood of the father.
Jaime also pointed out that the allegation put out by the NBI that Jaime manhandled his son cannot be true because until today from the day the alleged manhandling occurred no case of child abuse has been filed against him.
Moreover, Jaime said that it is traumatic for one child to be a witness to one murder that the minor will immediately cry out if it were true. "Now, it becomes ridiculous to believe when the NBI made it appear that my son witnessed two more murders claimed to have happened earlier."
If ever there is an explanation why this happened, Jaime said that it is politics that the NBI got his son to to destroy the reputation of political opponents.
"They are destroying the intrinsic worth and dignity of my son in making him as a false witness," Jaime said.
The petition that Jaime and his wife is filing today is posted below.
Republic of the Philippines
Padre Faura St., Manila
JAIME G. AQUINO and
ESTER I. AQUINO for
their minor son JESTIN
- versus - G.R. No. _______________
NATIONAL BUREAU OF
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ)
and AKAP-BATA CARITAS,
Urgent Petition for Writ of Amparo
This Urgent Petition for Amparo is being filed by Spouses JAIME G. AQUINO and ESTER I. AQUINO, on behalf of their minor son JESTIN IMUS AQUINO.
1. This is being filed through ALAB NG MAMAMAHAYAG (ALAM), a group of believers in total press freedom and in People’s Justice System where the judges are the people, because JAIME G. ACQUINO is a member of ALAM and its leader in Northern Luzon, that the group provides for the lawyer of the petitioners.
2. Petitioners JAIME G. AQUINO and ESTER I. AQUINO are the parents of minor JESTIN I. AQUINO whose life and liberty are now in danger because of the manipulations committed by the respondents to make the minor as a witness to the murder of Mr. Ruperto Martinez, who at the time of his death was the mayor of the Municipality of Infanta, Pangasinan.
3. Invetigations undertaken by the petitioners and news reports showed that the respondents are the ones who have control over the life, liberty and security of the minor, JESTIN I. AQUINO.
4. Respondent National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which was the one that took and recorded the questionable affidavits of the minor here, can be served subpoenas and summonses as well as other processes at its headquarters on Taft Avenue, Manila.
5. Respondent Department of Justice (DOJ), that has control and supervision over the National Prosecution Service (NPS) where the NBI filed the questionable case against petitioner Jaime G. Aquino and two big politicians of Pangasinan, can be served subpoenas or summons and other processes at its head office on Padre Faura St., Manila.
6. Respondent AKAP BATA-CARITAS, which as investigated by the petitioners and as reported in the news was the one to whom the actual custody of the minor was entrusted by the NBI, may be served subpoenas or summons and other processes at Caritas Manila Compound, 2002 Jesus St., Pandacan, Manila.
7. Mr. Ruperto Martinez was shot dead by assassins on December 15, 2012 in Infanta, shortly after the rally staged to oppose a project being implemented by the mayor.
8. On 20 December 2012, it was announced that the suspected gunman and the suspected companion of the suspected triggerman were arrested and have been in the custody of the law.
9. The truth is that the minor had no personal knowledge and had not witnessed any murder incident and that his testimonies were just subornated by manipulators.
10. The minor was born on 22 June 1996 in Tambac, Bayambang, Pangasinan and the third of the four children of the petitioners.
11. To prove the age of the minor, a copy of his Certificate of Live Birth is attached hereto as ANNEX “A.” (This is but a photocopy because the urgency of the petition did not offer sufficient time to secure a certified true copy).
12. In this birth certificate, it shows that his father is Jaime Gutierrez Aquino and his mother is Ester Diaz Imus-Aquino.
13. To prove that Jaime G. Aquino and Ester Diaz Imus-Aquino are married to each other, an NSO-authenticated copy of their Marriage Contract is attached hereto as ANNEX “B.”
14. On 12 February 2013, all national and local news entities, print and broadcast as well as internet based and television and radio stations, broke out a news that the their son, Jestin I. Aquino, was divulged by respondent National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as the witness who surfaced and testified that the murder committed against Martinez was plotted by Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino Jr., Pangasinan First District Representative Jesus Celeste and petitioner Jaime G. Aquino.
15. Petitioner Jaime G. Aquino was tending to his motorcycle repair shop in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan and he was shocked in the evening of 12 February 2012 when friends called him up to inform him that it was the news of the moment that Jaime G. Aquino was implicated along with the governor and the congressman as the brains in the murder committed against Martinez.
16. Aside from running the weekly newspaper Northern Star in Pangasinan, petitioner Jaime G. Aquino has been operating a motorcycle repair shop with him as the mechanic to augment his income.
17. Cannot believe his eyes over what the rapidly-spreading news and feeling extreme shame on the news story that he knew to be false, petitioner Jaime G. Aquino contacted the families of Congressman Celeste and Governor Espino and assured them that he cannot believe what happened and he assured them that what was attributed to his minor son was not true.
18. Petitioner Jaime G. Aquino said that the families of Celeste and Espino were extremely angry at him, accusing him of being a “doble cara” or double crosser.
19. The petitioner said that the families of Espino and Celeste believed that petitioner Jaime G. Aquino was engaged in a scheme for him to make his son as a witness against the Espinos and Celestes to support the candidacy for governor of Hernani Braganza, the incumbent mayor of Alaminos City, and then for petitioner Jaime G. Aquino to be with the Espinos and Celestes at the same time.
20. Alaminos Mayor Braganza is running for governor against Espino for the 2013 gubernatorial race in Pangasinan.
21. The petitioner said he could only understand and sympathize with the feelings of Governor Espino and Congressman Celeste but he feared that outburst of emotions from the supporters of Espino and Celeste may erupt to kill his son, Jestin I. Aquino, or Jaime Aquino himself or any member of his family.
22. Because the petitioners strongly believe that these fears are impending that retaliation might not be controlled by Governor Espino and Congressman Celeste, petitioner Jaime G. Aquino, Aquino’s son Jestin, and the rest of the Aquino family may be involved in bloody consequences.
23. Petitioner Jaime G. Aquino stressed that it is not only his son that is in danger but him and the rest of his families that may be collateral casualties of the extremely heating-up political issues between the camps of Braganza and Espinos.
24. Upon the other hand, petitioner Jaime G. Aquino also fears that the camp of Mayor Braganza may think he was sabotaging his candidacy for governor if the petitioners were to demand for the freedom of their minor son.
25. Adding to this, petitioner Jaime G. Aquino knows the spate of planned killings happening in Pangasinan so that the danger to the lives of his son and the entire of his family are clear and present.
26. And because the alleged testimonies of the minor son are false, with more reason that the petitioners are fearing for their lives, too.
27. Right now, Jaime G. Aquino and his family members are on the run because of these clear and present danger on them.
28. Among the reasons cited by the petitioners as evidence of falsities of the testimonies of the minor son are the following:
i. Police clearance issued by Mapandan Police Station to petitioner Jaime Gutierrez Aquino stating that he has “NO DEROGATORY RECORD ON FILE” – proving that it was a faslity for the reports to report that his son Jestin complained that he was manhandled by petitioner Jaime G. Aquino, otherwise a child abuse case could have already been filed against Jaime much earlier; a copy of the Police Clearance is attached hereto as ANNEX “C”;
ii. The newsreports stating that the alleged plot to kill Mayor Ruperto Martinez cannot have happened to be authored by Governor Espino because the mayor was one of the few remaining strong political allies of the incumbent governor and it is ridiculous and highly improbable for any politician to kill his supporter when the challenge from the opponents are very strong;
iii. The newsreports that the minor son of Jaime G. Aquino had personal knowledge of the plot to kill that happened supposedly inside the office of Zambales Provincee Governor Hermogenes Ebdane has not been believed in by the widow and children of Martinez as reported by Philippine Star on February 14, 2013 and which report was entitled “Slain mayor was our long-time ally – Pangasinan lawmaker” and posted on the newspaper’s internet site, http://www.philstar.com/nation/2013/02/14/908442/slain-mayor-was-our-long-time-ally-pangasinan-lawmaker;
iv. Inquirer also reported that the widow did not believe in the newsreports quoting the NBI as having a minor witness implicating Espino, Celeste and the minor’s father Jaim G. Aquino as the plotters of the murder against Martinez, and this report entitled “Wife of slain mayor decries use of hubby’s case for polls” is posted on February 16, 2013 at the website of Inquirer at this site: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/359775/wife-of-slain-mayor-decries-use-of-hubbys-case-for-polls;
v. In the same Philippine Star and Inquirer newsreports it was pointed out that the reports that said that his minor son also witnessed two other murder incidents and it was debunked as ridiculous that he could be in all places all the time murders occurred – that the minor witness was present in June 2012 when the murder was plotted against Jovencia Gasmin who was a kagawad of Barangay San Juan in Alcala town at the farm of Reynaldo Mencias who is the father of Mencias Vice-Mayor, that the minor witness was also present during the alleged plot to kill Mr. Sabangan of Bayambang, a claim that is not consistent to human habit of life;
vi. It is also contrary to human habit of life for a father to risk his minor son and bring the son to a meeting held for the purpose of plotting murders;
vii. The minor son has abandoned their home on November 1, 2012 and has not returned since then;
viii. The minor son committed theft against his siblings in Baguio City and Jaime G. Aquino caused the arrest and the son’s custody to be placed at the DSWD in Baguio City;
ix. The minor son of Jaime G. Aquino has been a high school dropout, when Jaime enrolled the minor thrice this school year in three high schools yet he stayed out of school, the first at Roxas National High School, Mapandan National High School and Bayambang National High School;
x. The claim in the newsreports that the NBI’s minor witness testified that the meeting to plot to kill Martinez happened right at the Provincial Governor’s office of Zambales is incredible to be believed in because it was too far from Pangasinan;
xi. Politics has been heating up in the province of Pangasinan that it is more believable to say that the accusations directed against any politician must have been concocted by an opponent;
xii. The minor son of the petitioners has been involved in many incidents, including the August 28, 2011 incident that occurred in Barangay Bakakeng in Baguio, where he went wild high on marijuana, a copy of the blotter issued by Baguio City Police Office Station 10 is attached hereto as ANNEX “D”;
xiii. Petitioner Jaime G. Aquino spoke boldly on the issue in interviews and the footage of the same has been uploaded to www.youtube.com at this site, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ai5rknQhM6M;
xiv. It is contrary to habit of life for a son to seek imprisonment of his father even if the father is a bad father, and yet there is no child abuse case on records filed by the son against petitioner Jaime G. Aquino;
29. So that the petitioners are worried that their minor son has been abused by the NBI and the non-governmental organization identified in the newsreports as AKAP BATA-CARITAS;
30. The longer the minor son is being held by the NBI and the said NGO the more damage will be caused on the intrinsic worth and dignity of their son Jestin;
31. The petitioners learned that their son has been restricted of liberty by the NBI and the same NGO and it is an act of serious illegal detention considering that the minor has been held against his will with a promise of reward should the minor agreed to sign the perjured affidavit.
32. The petitioners as parents cannot bear even a minute more of pain of not seeing their minor son and keeping him in their custody to give the love and care that only the father and the mother can give.
33. The custody being exercised by the NBI and AKAP BATA-CARITAS is illegal because it has no consent of either the father or the mother of the minor.
34. The custody is also illegal because there has been no charge of child abuse that has been filed against either the father or the mother of the minor.
35. Under the law, it is but obligatory on the part of the State to give the custody of their minor child to the parents if there is no legal justification for withholding of custody.
36. The complete absence of any charge filed by their minor son Jestin is the strongest evidence of the unsullied and now inalienable right of the parents to keep their minor child.
37. The respondents also do not have any valid grounds or any prima facie evidence to show that the minor son of the petitioners are indeed a credible witness on several crimes that the NBI claimed to have been witnessed by the minor.
38. If an adult cannot normally withstand to keep quiet all the time as a witness to one murder incident, how much more for a minor and how much more if the murder incidents being claimed to have been witnessed by the minor are three murders?
39. The NBI and the other respondent do not have documents or object evidence to support the claims of the son.
40. Completely, the respondents violated the rule on investigations and evidence by believing in claims without even verifying the reputation and the police records of the minor witness.
41. To the contrary, the acts of the respondents in compelling the minor to be a false witness will damage the intrinsic worth of the son of the petitioners.
42. Clearly then, the rights of the minor and the rights of the petitioners and their family to life, liberty and security have been violated in the degree of grave irreparable injury.
43. The extreme fears for their lives and liberties and security, the besmirched reputation caused on the petitioners and the minor and the entire family are clear and present as well as prima facie.
RELIEFS PRAYED FOR
44. Adopting the above narration of facts, the petitioners are seeking the following reliefs:
a. AMPARO LIBERTAD – the petitioners are seeking from the Supreme Court to order the release of their minor son from the custody and manipulations of the respondent and allow the parents to take care of the minor’s concerns and discipline – and order the freedom of the minor;
b. AMPARO ADMINISTRATIVO – the petitioners are also seeking from the Supreme Court to order the review of the administrative procedures undertaken by the NBI on the minor, in the gathering of evidence affecting the minor, in the conduct of examination on the minor, in the taking of the affidavits of the minor, and in the determination of whether there was reasonable ground to believe in the affidavits of the minor;
MOTION FOR PROVISIONAL RELIEFS PRAYED FOR
45. PRODUCTION ORDER -- Adopting the above discussions, the petitioners are praying for the provisional relief of PRODUCTION ORDER, directing the respondents to bring to the Court copy furnished the petitioners such documents or objects that the respondents possess in relation to the use of the minor as a false witness, including the affidavits prepared by the respondents that they had to be signed by the minor.
46. This PO is indispensable because of the imminent dangers to life, liberty and security that are being faced by petitioner Jaime G. Aquino while he and political kingpins Espino and Celeste are continuously implicated as the plotters of murder against Martinez when there is obviously no reasonable ground to believe that the minor was indeed a witness to the murders against Martinez, Gasmin and Sabangan.
47. TEMPORARY PROTECTION ORDER – considering the gravity of the threats to life, liberty and security not only of the minor but also of the petitioners and their entire family, it is also prayed of the Honorable Court to issue a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) enjoining in the mean time the respondents from proceeding their investigation into the alleged murder committed against Martinez, which investigation is obviously intended to cause prejudice on the incumbent governor of Pangasinan and the incumbent congressman of the first district of the province and making petitioner Jaime G. Aquino as a tool to be damaged.
48. This TPO is necessary to achieve peace and diffuse the tensions against life, liberty and security of the petitioners who are but poor men and who are now on the run for their life.
49. The best way to secure the life, liberty and security of the minor, the petitioners and their entire family against the threats from unseen angst from politicians’ camps is to stop the respondents from proceeding the proceedings out of the case filed by the NBI using the highly-questionable affidavits taken from the minor.
50. The belief among the hot-headed supporters of the incumbent governor of Pangasinan and the incumbent congressman of its first district is unshakeable that the act of using the minor as a witness is to destroy the said officials and the continuous proceedings of the respondents would jeopardize the lives, liberty and security of the minor, petitioner Jaime G. Aquino, and the petitioners family.
51. The petitioners have no means of defending themselves against these threats to their lives, liberty and security for they do not have money and guns to do so, except for the leaders of Iglesia Ni Cristo in Pangasinan where petitioner Jaime G. Aquino belongs.
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed of the Honorable Supreme Court to issue a Writ of Amparo, directing the respondents to bring the body of the minor to the Court, to file their respective returns, and to stop them from using minor Jestin I. Aquino as a witness to three murders when this is incredible.
It is also being prayed that while the petition is being heard a Production Order (PO) and a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) be issued in the meantime, respectively directing the respondents to bring to the Court all the documents and affidavits used or taken from the minor, and enjoining the respondents from proceeding with the preliminary investigations or other forms of investigation.
Other reliefs just and equitable under the premises are also prayed for, including those that may be initiated by the Court motu proprio. Manila, February 18, 2013.
ALAB NG MAMAMAHAYAG (ALAM)
Ground Floor, National Press Club Bldg.,
No. 1 Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila
RENTA PE CAUSING SABARRE CASTRO & ASSOCIATES
Unit 1, 2368 JB Roxas St. corner Leon Guinto St., Malate, Manila
BERTENI CATALUÑA CAUSING
IBP No. 894664 / 03-20-2012 / Manila
PTR No. 0675267 / 03-27-2012 / Manila
Roll No. 60944/ MCLE Compliance No. IV-0007338
CIRILO P. SABARRE JR.
IBP No. 856677 /01-03-2012
PTR No. 117312429 /01-03-2012
Roll No. 53639 / MCLE Compliance No. IV-0003755
DERVIN V. CASTRO
IBP No. 836900/11-18-2010 up to 2012
PTR No. 0335125 /01-03-2012
Roll No. 53624 /MCLE Compliance No. IV-0007336
NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
Taft Avenue, Manila
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Padre Faura St., Manila
Caritas Manila Compound,
2002 Jesus St., Pandacan, Manila