MANILA -- The Department of National Defense (DND) is ready to answer and expressed confidence that the allegations made by militant groups in connection through the writ of Amparo and habeas data petitions will be proven false and dismissed before the courts.
"The DND is confident that the allegations by Karapatan and Gabriela in connection with the writ of Amparo and habeas data will be proven false before the courts," said DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong in a statement to reporters late Thursday.
He also said the DND and its bureaus fully adhere to the rule of law.
"We will address Karapatan and Gabriela following the legal process. There is certainly no threat to their members’ lives, liberty, and security coming from the Defense and military establishments, and we will comply with the writ of habeas data as ordered by the court," Andolong said.
This view was shared by DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who emphasized that their response will be done in the proper venue and time. "I am sure the court will require us to present our side," he added.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court (SC) granted the petition for writ of Amparo and habeas data filed by the two progressive groups, along with the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines.
The groups earlier claimed that their rights to life, liberty, and security were violated by the government's red-tagging allegations.
Named as respondents in this petition were President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief-of-staff Benjamin Madrigal and 10 others.
In its six-page order, the High Court also ordered the respondents to submit a verified return of the writ of Amparo and habeas data before the Court of Appeals (CA) on or before June 13 and to comment on the petition.
The SC ruling also directed the CA to hear the petition by June 18 and resolve the case based on the merits within 10 days. (PNA)