• SC asked to return Boratong to NBP

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    The Supreme Court (SC) was asked on Tuesday to return Amin Imam Boratong to the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

    Boratong was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2009 by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) for owning and maintaining the “shabu tiangge” in Pasig City.

    In a petition for a writs of habeas corpus, habeas data and amparo, Boratong’s wife Memie Sultan-Boratong told the SC that her husband’s transfer to the detention cell of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Taft Avenue, Manila has no basis for lack of a court order.

    She said that her husband’s transfer to the NBI cell is a violation of Presidential Decree No. 29 which mandates that prisoners sentenced to more than three years and one day are classified as national prisoners and should be detained at the NBP.

    Likewise, she said that the refusal of Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima to allow Boratong’s counsel and family members to visit him violates Republic Act No. 7438 that defines certain rights of arrested and detained persons.

    De Lima with law enforcement agents swooped down on the NBP last Dec. 15 and raided the rooms of several high-profile prisoners, including Boratong.

    The raid resulted in the seizure of drugs, firearms and other contrabands and the discovery that several inmates were living in luxury.

    After the raid, De Lima ordered the transfer of 20 so-called high profile prisoners to the NBI detention cell, including Boratong.

    In her petition, Boratong’s wife said that her husband was not living in luxury at the NBP and that no contraband was found in his cell.

    She said that the issuance of the three writs by the SC would assure her husband could be visited by her relatives, that she could obtain documents pertaining to the transfer to the NBI and that her husband could be returned to the NBI in Muntinlupa City.

    “Petitioner has exhausted all efforts legally available and there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy to protect the rights of Amin Imam Boratong except by the application of the writs of habeas data/corpus and amparo,” she said.

    A writ of habeas corpus is a legal remedy against illegal detention, writ of amparo for violations or threats against rights to life, liberty and security, while the writ of habeas data is for the protection of the image, privacy, honor, information, self-determination and freedom of information of a person. PNA

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