Philippine Navy welcomes SC grant of privilege of writ to Gadian; hopes she will face investigation.
The Supreme Court granted today the writ of amparo for Lt. Nancy Gadian, the navy officer who has been declared AWOL by the Philippine Navy. (Download writ-of-amparo)
The Supreme Court also directed the Court of Appeals to hear the petition on March 28, 2009 at 10 a.m. and decide it within 10 days.
The petition was filed last Tuesday by Nedina Gadian Diamante, sister of Lt. Gadian with the assistance of CenterLaw Philippines. (Download petition)
CenterLaw’s Harry Roque said, “This is unpredented that a military officer is granted relief by the Supreme Court.”
Upon receipt of the High Court’s order, Roque, counsel for Diamante, filed a motion manifestation for Gadian to seek temporary sanctuary with the Supreme Court in the absence of accredited sanctuary.
The Philippine Navy said they will abide by the grant by the Supreme Court to Lt. Gadian of the privilege of the writ. “The Navy leadership itself has long been offering her assurance of her ‘life, liberty, and security’made subject of the petition,” the Navy said in a statement.
“With this, we hope Lt. Gadian will finally face the Investigation Committee formed by the Secretary of the Department of National Defense to substantiate her serious allegation of corruption of Balikatan ‘07 fund that has dragged the AFP into a controversy,” the Navy said.
Following is the statement of CenterLaw:
“The Supreme Court, under the authority of Chief Justice Reynato Puno, issued yesterday an unprecedented Writ of Amparo directing top officials of the armed forces to desist from issuing or carrying out any threat to the life, liberty and security of whistleblower Lt. Senior Grade Mary Nancy P. Gadian.
“This is the first time that the Supreme Court provided protection under the Writ of Amparo to an officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“As this developed, lawyer Harry Roque, counsel for Gadian’s sister, Nenida Diamante, who filed a Petition for the issuance of Writ of Amparo on behalf of the junior Navy officer, said Lt. SG Mary Nancy Gadian’s life is more important than all the benefits that she could lose if she were to be dropped from the rolls of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“Roque was reacting to a 48-hour ultimatum given by Philippine Navy authorities to Lt. SG. Gadian to surrender or risk being dropped from the rolls of the AFP.
“It is indeed a waste for a be-medaled officer to end her career in this manner. It must be understood though that Lt. Gadian has already determined that her life is more important than her title and her career in the military. I concur with Gadian that this is the correct decision,” said Roque.
Gadian went into hiding after declaring in a radio interview that high-ranking AFP officers were involved in corrupt practices as a result of the 2007 BALIKATAN exercises.
“In a two-page order, the Supreme Court directed AFP Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Victor Ibrado, Navy Flag-Officer-in-Command, Vice Admiral Ferdinand Golez, Western Mindanao Command Chief of Staff, Col. Joel Ibañez , Management and Financial Officer, Lt. Col. Antonio Dacanay and Retired Lt. Gen. Eugenio Cedo to make a return of the writ on or before May 28, 2009.
“The High Court also directed the Court of Appeals to hear the petition on the same day and decide the case within ten (10) days after its submission for decision.
“The order, signed by the Ma. Luisa D. Villarama, Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court, was issued under the authority of Chief Justice Puno.
“There is a higher interest than the exigency of military service for Lt. Gadian to tell the truth behind her allegations of corruption. If proven, it will provide proof that the only viable policy justification for the Visiting Forces Agreement, the financial assistance that the Philippines would receive , is more illusory than real, “said lawyer Romel Bagares, Excutive Director of the Center for International Law (CENTERLAW) that provided legal service for the filing of the Amparo petition. . “It will prove that the VFA only benefits the corrupt Generals who have been helping to perpetuate Mrs. Arroyo in power.”
“The BALIKATAN exercises are being conducted pursuant to the visiting Forces Agreement. While the Arroyo justification maintains that the VFA is anchored on the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the US and the Philippines.
“Critics, including Former Senate President Jovito Salonga, have argued that the MDT is already a legal anachronism since the use of force has already been made illegal under international law. Salonga is lead Petitioner in a petition that seeks to declare the VFA unconstitutional.
“Meanwhile, Mr. Felipe Pestano, father of the deceased Navy Ensign Phillip Andrew Pestano, also advised Lt. Gadian to continue to stand up for the truth: “continue what you are doing in exposing the truth. We who have lost our loved ones stand solidly behind you.” The Senate had previously issued a report that Philip Pestano, also a whistleblower on corruption in the Navy, was murdered although this has been denied by authorities in the Philippine Navy.”
Wait, there’s more!: Buy her a gift this Valentines! or send her flowers!