UPDATE (Philippines): Solicitor General told to comment on the petition of Abadilla Five in ten days


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAU-045-2008
ISSUES: Arbitrary arrest & detention, Institutional reform, Judicial system, Right to fair trial, Rule of law,

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has been informed that the Supreme Court (SC) has already required the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to comment on the Petition for Review on Certiorari the legal counsels of the Abadilla Five filed on May 5. The SC’s resolution was issued on June 16 but was received by the counsel only yesterday.


As mentioned in our previous appeal AHRC-UAU-029-2008, on May 5 the legal counsel of Abadilla Five filed a Petition for Review seeking to nullify the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) on April 1, which affirmed the decision of the lower court convicting the five accused for murder.

However, instead of having the petition resolved in an en banc session, where the Justices of the SC sit together to deliberate the merits of the petition, the petition was transmitted to the 3rd Division of the SC. It has taken just over a month, till the 16th June, for the 3rd Division to issue a resolution on the case.

A copy of the SC’s resolution was received by mail by the legal counsel of the accused only on July 21 – more than two months after the petition was filed. The resolution states that;

1. The OSG is required to comment on the petition within 10 days upon receipt of the said notice (which is around 1st week of August). Read the full text of the Petition.

2. The SC also noted the Petition’s Addendum regarding the UN Human Rights Committee Views on its decision regarding the undue delay in the conclusion of the review of the case. (See full texts: Addendum; ALRC-STM-007-2008)

3.  It also noted the letter from Moon Jeong Ho, programme officer of the AHRC’s Urgent Appeals Programme, to Chief Justice Reynato Puno with copies sent to 14 other SC Justices on May 5 urging the SC to ensure a thorough and prompt review of the case. Read full text.

To read further details about this case, please visit our campaign website: Convicted without real review. You can also sign up to the online petition or send your comments regarding this case to this email: philippines@ahrchk.net

The AHRC has also developed a campaign blog on this case entitled: They speak of Abadilla Five case. The blog contains random interviews of ordinary persons, particularly those who have had experience on how adjudication of cases takes place in the Philippines. Your comment on this issue would also be helpful to raise the issues of endemic judicial delays in the Philippines.

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrchk.org)

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : AHRC-UAU-045-2008
Countries : Philippines,
Campaigns : Abadilla 5
Issues : Arbitrary arrest & detention, Institutional reform, Judicial system, Right to fair trial, Rule of law,