By Perfecto T. Raymundo
MANILA, Nov. 6 (PNA) — The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed the petition for a writ of habeas data filed against Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Assistant Secretary Alex Almario due to his alleged involvement in the ominous surveillance activities on whistleblower Sandra Cam.
In an en banc ruling dated Oct. 14, 2014 and released on Thursday, the SC denied the petition filed by Cam against Almario, “Sir Noy”, and several others, saying that the latter were not the proper parties to the case.
Cam alleged that from April 30, 2014 to May 13, 2014, a white Toyota Innova and black pick-up without plate numbers conducted surveillance around Nazareth Institute of Alfonso, which is a school managed by the petitioner and where she resides temporarily.
She claimed that Almario went to the school, left his calling card, claimed to be an “unofficial representative” and asked her to talk to her about an alleged “list” containing the names of Cabinet officials and legislators involved in the alleged Php10-billion pork barrel scam.
In the ruling, the SC noted that Section 6(d) on the Writ of Habeas Data requires the petition to allege “the location of the files, registers or database, the government office, and the person in charge, in possession or in control of the data or information, if known.”
“[P]etitioner did not sufficiently establish that respondent Almario was behind the alleged surveillance over her person conducted through the subject vehicles,” it said.
The SC said there were no allegations of overt or covert acts to suggest that the vehicles escorted Almario or that they were part of one group when the DAR official dropped by Cam’s school for the meeting.
However, it said Cam “may pursue such claims in a proper suit, invoking her constitutional right to information under Article III, Section 7 of the Constitution, if she is minded.” (PNA)