(July 20)—The Institute of Human Rights (IHR) of the UP Law Center hosted a roundtable discussion on the Writ of Amparo with Professor Paolo Cardinal of the University of Macau and Senior Legal Adviser to the Macau Legislative Assembly. The RTD was chaired by IHR director Prof Elizabeth Aguiling-Pangalangan and attended by retired Associate Justice Adolfo Azcuna, responsible for the introduction of the Writ of Amparo in the Philippine legal system, CHR Chiarperson Loretta Ann Rosales, Dean Raul C. Pangalangan, other faculty members and representatives of government and NGOs as well as students.
Professor Cardinal presented his paper entitled A Panoramic View on the World of the Amparo of Fundamental Rights vi-a-vis the Philippine Amparo –Old Problems, New Reforms. The discussion focused mainly on the comparison of the Philippine Amparo with the Amparo in other jurisdictions. He praised the unique features of the Philippine Amparo, especially its applicability not only to public officials but also to private individuals, the prohibition on general denial of custody, the burden of proof and standard of diligence, the absence of docket fees for the filing of the petition, and the grant of jurisdiction to hear Amparo cases to various courts.
However, despite the current potency of the Rule on Amparo, Professor Cardinal identified certain prospects of reform. Among the changes which may be introduced are the possibility of turning Amparo into legislation, the enlargement of the scope of the fundamental rights included, and the relaxation on the rule on standing. Professor Cardinal emphasized that the Amparo Rule is a work in progress.—UP Law Center