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RUBRICO v. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO G.R. No. 183871 18 February 2010 PONENTE: Velasco, Jr., J. PARTIES: 1.

PETITIONERS: LOURDES RUBRICO, JEAN RUBRICO APRUEBO, and M ARY JO Y RUBRICO CARBONEL 2. RESPONDENTS: PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, GEN. HERMOGENES ESPERON, P/DIR. GE. AVELINO RAZON, M AJ. DARWIN SY, JIMMY SANTANA, RUBEN ALFARO, CAPT. ANGELO CUARESMA, P/SUPT. EDGAR ROQUERO, ARSENIO GOMEZ, JONATHAN, and OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN NATURE: Petition for Review on Certiorari of CA decision PROCEDUR AL BACKGROUND: 1. Supreme Court: Original Action for a Petition for the Writ of Amparo 2. Court of Appeals: Upon order of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals summarily heard the Original Action for Petition of Amparo. Thereafter, the Court of Appeals issued a partial judgment which is the subject of the present Petition for Review on Certiorari . FACTS: On 03 April 2007, Lourdes Rubrico, chair of Ugnayan ng Maralita para sa Gawa Adhikan , was abducted by armed men belonging to the 301st Air Intelligence and Security Squadron (AISS) based i n Lipa City while attending a Lenten pabasa in D asmarinas, Cavite. She was brought to and detained at the air base without charges. She was released a week af ter relentless interrogation, but only after she signed a statement that she would be a military asset. Despite her release, she was tailed on at least 2 occasions. Hence, Lourdes filed a complaint wi th the Office of the Ombudsman a criminal complaint for kidnapping and arbi trary detention and grave misconduct against Cuaresma, Alfaro, Santana, and Jonathan, but nothing has happened. She likewise reported the threats and harassment incidents to the Dasmarinas municipal and Cavite provincial police stations , but nothi ng eventful resulted from their inv estigation. Meanwhile, the human rights group Karapatan conducted an investi gation which i ndicated that men belonging to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) led the abduction of Lourdes. Based on such information, Rubrico filed a petition for the writ of amparo with the S upreme Court on 25 October 2007, praying that respondents be ordered to desist from performing any threatening act against the security of peti tioners and for the Ombudsman to immediately file an information for kidnapping qualified with the aggravati ng circumstance of gender of the offended party. Rubrico also prayed for damages and for respondents to produce documents submi tted to any of them on the case of Lourdes. The Supreme Court issued the desired wri t and then referred the petition to the Court of Appeals (CA) for summary hearing and appropriate action. At the heari ng conducted on 20 Nov ember 2007, the CA granted peti tioners motion that the petition and wri t be serv ed on Darwin Sy /Rey es, Santana, Alfaro, Cuaresma, and Jonathan. By a separate resolution, the CA dropped the President as res pondent in the case. On 31 July 2008, after due proceedings, the CA rendered its partial judgment, dismissing the peti tion with respect to Esperon, Razon, Roquero, Gomez, and Ombudsman. Hence, the petitioners filed a Peti tion for Review on Certiorari with the Supreme Court. PERTINENT ISSUE: Whether or not the doctri ne of command responsibility is applicable in an amparo peti tion.

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Rubrico v. Macapagal Arroyo Case Summary G.R . No. 183871 18 February 2010

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ANSWER: No. SUPREME COURT RULINGS: DOCTRINE OF COMMAND RESPONSIBILITY and THE WRIT OF AMPARO Doctrine of Comman d Responsibility has little, if at all, bearin g in amparo proceedings [C]ommand responsibility, as a concept defined, developed, and applied under international law, has little, if at all, bearing in amparo proceedi ngs. The evolution of the command responsibility doctrine finds its context in the development of laws of war and armed combats. According to Fr. Bernas, command responsibility, in its si mplest terms, means the responsibility of commanders for crimes commi tted by subordinate members of the armed forces or other persons subject to their control in international wars or domestic conflict. In this sense, command responsibility is properly a form of criminal complicity. The Hague Conventions of 1907 adopted the doctrine of command responsibility, foreshadowing the present-day precept of holding a superior accountable for the atrocities committed by his subordinates should he be remiss in his duty of control over them. As then formulated, command responsibility is an omission mode of individual criminal liability, whereby the superior is made res ponsible for crimes committed by his subordinates for failing to prevent or punish the perpetrators. There is no Philippine law that provides for crimin al liability under the Doctrine of Command Responsibility While there are sev eral pending bills on command res ponsibility, there is still no Philippine law that provides for criminal liability under that doctri ne. It may plausibly be contended that command responsibility, as legal basis to hold military /police commanders liable for extra -legal killings, enforced disappearances, or threats, may be made applicable to this jurisdiction on the theory that the command responsibility doctrine now cons titutes a principle of i nternational law or customary international law in accordance with the i ncorporation clause of the Consti tution. Still, it would be inappropriate to apply to these proceedings the doctrine of command responsibility, as the CA seemed to have done, as a form of criminal complicity through omission, for individual respondents criminal liability, if there be any, is beyond the reach of amparo. In other words, the Court does not rule in such procee dings on any issue of criminal culpability, even if incidentally a crime or an i nfraction of an administrative rule may have been committed. Reluctance of the amparo petitioners or their witnesses to cooperate ou ght not to pose a hindrance to the police in pursuing, on its own initiative, the investigation in question to its natural end [T]he right to security of persons is a guarantee of the protection of ones right by the government. And this protection includes conducting effective investigations of extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances, or threats of the same kind. The nature and importance of an inv estigation are captured in the Velasquez Rodriguez case , in which the Inter-American Court of Human Rights pronounced: [The duty to investi gate] must be undertaken in a s erious manner and not as a mere formality preordained to be i neffective. An inv estigation mus t have an objective and be assumed by the State as its own legal duty, not a s tep taken by private interests that depends upon the initi ative of the victim or his family or upon offer of proof, without an effective search for the truth by the government. The remedy of amparo ought to be resorted to and granted judiciously The privilege of the writ of amparo is envisioned basically to protect and guarantee the ri ghts to life, liberty, and security of persons, free from fears and threats that vitiate the quality of this life. It is an extraordinary writ conceptualized and adopted in light of and in respons e to the preval ence of extra -legal killings and enforced disappearances. Accordingly, the remedy ought to be resorted to and granted judiciously, lest the ideal sought by the Amparo Rule be diluted and undermined by the indiscriminate filing of amparo petitions for purposes less than the desire to secure amparo reliefs and protection and/or on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations.

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Rubrico v. Macapagal Arroyo Case Summary G.R . No. 183871 18 February 2010

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DISPOSITIVE: The Supreme Court partially granted the petition for review. It issued a decision as follows: (1) Affirming the dropping of former President Gloria M acapagal-Arroyo from the petition; (2) Affirming the dismissal of the amparo case as agai nst Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, and P/Di r. Gen. Avelino Razon, i nsofar as it tended, under the command responsibility principl e, to attach accountability and responsibility to them, as then AFP Chief of Staff and then PNP Chief, for the alleged enforced disappearance of Lourdes and the ensui ng harassments allegedly committed against petitioners. The dismissal of the peti tion with res pect to the Ombudsman is also affirmed for failure of the peti tion to allege ultimate facts as to make out a case against that body for the enforced disappearance of Lourdes and the threats and harassment that followed; and (3) Directing the incumbent Chief of Staff, AFP, or his successor, and the incumbent Director -General of the PNP, or his successor, to ens ure that the investigations already commenced by their respective units on the alleged abduction of Lourdes Rubrico and the alleged harassments and threats she and her daughters were made to endure are pursued with extraordinary diligence as requi red by Sec. 17 of the Amparo Rule. The Chief of Staff of the AFP and Director-General of the PNP are directed to order their subordinate officials, in particular, to do the following: (a) Determine bas ed on records, past and present, the i dentities and locations of respondents Maj. Darwin Sy, a.k.a. D arwin Reyes, Jimmy Santana, Ruben Alfaro, Capt. Angelo Cuaresma, and one Jonathan; and submit certifications of this determination to the OMBUDSM AN with copy furnished to peti tioners, the CA, and this Court; (b) Purs ue with extraordinary diligence the evidentiary leads relati ng to Maj. Darwin Sy and the Toyota Revo vehicle with Plate No. XRR 428; and (c) Prepare, with the assistance of petitioners and/or witnesses, cartographic sketches of respondents Maj. Sy/Reyes, Jimmy Santana, Ruben Alfaro, Capt. Angelo Cuaresma, and a certain Jonathan to aid in positively identifying and locating them. The investi gations shall be completed not later than six (6) months from receipt of the Decision; and within thirty (30) days after completion of the inv estigations, the Chief of Staff of the AFP and the Director-General of the PNP are likewise directed to submit a full report of the results of the investi gations to the Court, the CA, the OMB, and peti tioners. The Supreme Court accordingly referred the cas e back to the CA for the purpose of monitoring the investigations and the actions of the AFP and the PNP.

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