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       SSC News and Events                                              SY 2008-09

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Associate Justice Azcuna talk on Writ of Amparo

By Marina Gonzaga-Merida, Chairperson, College Faculty Outreach Committee
Posted: Tuesday December 16, 2008 11:12 AM



Last November 24, 2008, the College Faculty Outreach Committee sponsored a forum entitled, "The Writ of Amparo."  For the said forum, the committee invited Associate Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna to be the guest speaker.  The forum started with a meditative opening prayer led by Prof. Estrella Calsado.  Atty. Prima Jesusa Quinsayas acted as the emcee-facilitator of the forum. 

Prof. Marina G. Merida, the Committee Chairperson, introduced the guest speaker.  Justice Azcuna, who is the husband of the school's Dean of Arts and Sciences, Mrs. Ma. Asuncion Azcuna, focused on the concept and use of the writ of amparo.  Below were the excerpts from his talk:

        Why Amparo? The word "Amparo" came from the Spanish word "Amaparar" which
        means "to protect."  It is a special remedy to enforce constitutional rights other than
        physical liberty (which is protected by habeas corpus).  The Amparo remedy differs
        from one country to another.

        In the Philippine context, the Writ of Amparo seeks to protect the right to life,
        liberty and security.  It is available in instances involving extralegal killings or
        enforced disappearances.  When granted, the court issues one or more of the

Protection Order (including Witness Protection Order)
        Production Order
        Inspection Order

Justice Azcuna also explained the Writ of Habeas Data in response to a question from Prof. Jonathan Rondina of the Mass Communication Department.  According to Justice  Azcuna, the Writ of Habeas Data is a special remedy to protect a person's right to personality (not simply right to privacy and this includes the right not to share information about one's self, not just demographic data but also information on one's activities, liaisons, and the like).  It can be availed to question information gathered on one's person by another person, natural or juridical.  The Writ of Habeas Data can also be used to stop information gathering that would violate the above mentioned right.


The talk of Justice Azcuna was followed by an open forum which was started by Mother Mary John Mananzan, OSB, Prioress of the Order of St. Benedict, Philippines.  Other questions from the participants clarified more the meaning of the Writ of Amparo and the Writ of Data and their importance to us as citizens and members of the community.


The forum was very informative and very substantial, and so the participants left the hall feeling satisfied and enlightened.


The talk ended with the awarding of small token of appreciation to Justice Azcuna by Sr. Angelica Leviste, OSB, President of St. Scholastica's College, Manila.


Associate Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna with school administrators and faculty




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