Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Writ of Habeas Data

With the exigent hope of ending problems of extra-legal killings and enforced disappearance in the Philippines, the Supreme Court introduced the concept of the Writ of Habeas Data.

The Writ of Habeas Data seeks to protect the right of an individual to find out what information is kept, what is the use of such information and why these data about him are collected. The Writ gives the petitioner the opportunity to question the data and to demand for its updating, rectification or destruction.

In some countries, the Writ of Habeas Data is an excellent human rights tool against military dictatorship. It is filed to view police and military records of victims of extralegal killings which were previously made confidential and off-limits to the families of victims. And in order to establish a right to truth, some use this Writ to view government records in cases of atrocities committed by the latter.

The introduction of the Writ of Habeas Data into Philippine Justice System complemented several writs used in the Philippines. These writs which protect the rights of the individual against the state are as follows:

1. The Writ of Habeas Corpus – a writ ordering a person who detained another to produce the body and bring it before a judge or court. Its purpose is to determine whether the detention is lawful or not;

2. The Writ of Mandamus – a writ ordering a governmental agency to perform a ministerial function;

3. The Writ of Prohibition – a writ ordering a person to prohibit the commission of an illegal act;

4. The Writ of Certiorari – a writ ordering a person to correct an erroneous act committed with grave abuse of discretion; and

5. The Writ of Amparo – a writ designed to protect the most basic right of a human being. These are the right to life, liberty and security guaranteed by the Constitution.

With these writs, the Supreme Court fervently hoped that the problems of extralegal and extrajudicial killings and the disappearance of activists and other persons shall come to a halt especially in the midst of Martial Law lurking in the horizon.

15 comments:

  1. Hello there, the SC approved the draft rules on the implementation of the writ of habeas data and would take effect on February 2, 2008. Let us pray that it will help us and the victims to have the right to truth.

    Atty. JZ

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  2. I laud SC on this one but they can only do so much. The burden of giving life to the democratic rights of the people should start with the legislative department who has the power to pass laws to protect these rights, and then for the executive department to faithfully implement the laws protecting the basic rights of the people. Like the Writ of Amparo, the Writ of Habeas Data is not an absolute remedy to protect the people from any threat or violation to their life, liberty or security. Congress and the executive department should be challenged to do their part in putting to reality the spirit of democratic rights in the country.

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  3. That is a good decision they made.

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  4. Nose bleed. Lalim naman. Hahaha.

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  5. It is indeed very good if you can enforce it.
    When I see how long it takes to settle a case in court... the time and money that is needed...

    Anyway, a step in the right direction.

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  6. @ atty jz/anonymous - aye aye to that, let us see who uses this first.

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  7. @ atty liza - you are right. at the present, our judiciary has been the last bulwark and protector of our democracy which is more often than not, the two other depts. trample.

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  8. @ quintarantino - yes sir. another tool for us lawyers to use.

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  9. @ tina - call me, ill make it easy for u lolz.

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  10. @ sidney - that's why most people hate lawyers, some things can get pretty technical, thus delaying justice.

    (sigh)

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  11. i wanted to take up law in college but i guess destiny would have none of it. i am now a travel agent and i got inspired reading a lawyer'w travel blog. haha. and a cpa at that. indeed, the SC has given the Pinoys quite a number of writs to protect their civil liberties, to neutralize the effects of potential abuse of governments.

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  12. sana lang this won't be a "supposed to be" thing kasi pati yung consti natin maganda pero taliwas yung nangyayari.puro salita lang kung tutuusin..napakaoppressive pa naman ng sistema natin at nakakagulat(pero masaya) kung magwawagi ang mga api!!opinion lng nmn po n nkbase sa mga kongkretong obserbasyon.

    ReplyDelete
  13. sana lang this won't be a "supposed to be" thing kasi pati yung consti natin maganda pero taliwas yung nangyayari.puro salita lang kung tutuusin..napakaoppressive pa naman ng sistema natin at nakakagulat(pero masaya) kung magwawagi ang mga api!!opinion lng nmn po n nkbase sa mga kongkretong obserbasyon.

    ReplyDelete
  14. wrong grammar grabe ang blog post mo. i got the gist of your post but some very basic english grammar rules expected of a law student e somewhat missing sa post mo. magtake ka na lang ng mga photos. you excel in that.

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