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February 16, 2024

The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) is unfazed over the writs of amparo and habeas data, as well as a temporary protective order, granted by the Supreme Court (SC) for community organizers Jonila Castro and Jhed Tamano, Executive Director and Undersecretary Ernesto Torres Jr said Friday (Feb. 16, 2024).

“The granting of Writs of Amparo and Habeas Data alongside a temporary protection order by the Supreme Court (SC) for Jonila Castro and Jhed Tamano is a temporary setback that presents a great opportunity for the government to further debunk their deceptive narratives and expose their lies in open court,” Torres said.

Torres reiterated the parlance of the Task Force’s Legal Cooperation Cluster (LCC) that the decision “is simply part of the due process of law”.

In a statement, the LCC pointed out that the decision showed the government's adherence to the rule of law.

It, however, reminded the defendants that the case was not over yet as this was remanded to the Court of Appeals (CA) for hearings.

“The LCC takes this as an excellent opportunity for the government and its officers to expose this grand conspiracy to set up and fabricate crimes and falsehoods against our innocent officers, soldiers, and even to the PAO lawyer maligned in this case. The truth will prevail,” the cluster said in a statement.

Torres explained that the ruling is just a “minor setback”, it presents a significant opportunity for the government to counter the narratives of communist terrorist groups (CTGs) and shed light on their deceptive tactics as part of a “grand conspiracy” to malign and destroy the credibility and integrity of our officers, soldiers, and lawyers from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).

“The legal procedure laid down by the high court guarantees all parties the right to be heard, giving government and public officials named in the petition the avenue to provide proof and refute all accusations leveled against them,” he added.

He assured that the Task Force will comply with all its legal obligations with the case at hand because the government is committed to telling the truth in a court of law and defending what is morally right.

“We shall neither falter nor waver in fulfilling our mandate in the face of this development with the best interest of the Filipino people in mind,” Torres said.


Ref: Joel M. Sy Egco


February 16, 2024


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