Today, the Supreme Court approved, during its en banc session the proposed rules for the adoption of what is called the writ of amparo.
It is a form of relief granted to persons whose constitutional rights are being threatened. The writ of amparo seeks to "shelter," to act as a refuge, against threats.
The promulgation of the rules for to oprationalize the issuance of this writ of amparo has come in the wake of alarming cases of forced disappearances, extrajudicial killings happening in our country.
Some international groups have pointed to the security forces of the government as having a hand in these violations of human rights.
Anyway, I am certain that not a few (in the legal profession), including of course myself, are unfamiliar with the rules or even concept writ of the writ of amparo.
But this animal called "writ of amparo" gained popularity---or properly notoriety---during the 1991 bar examinations in political law.
Political law is the first bar exam subject on he first Saturday of the bar exams.
And this was the very first question asked for the whole bar examinations:
what is the writ of amparo?
This was obviously a "killer question"
A question like that can easily drive a person to feel ominously bedeviled for the rest of the exams.
It is the legal equivalent of the medical term: dead-on-arrival.
You just arrived for the exam and you're already dead.
At the Ateneo Law School, many professors have this style of injecting so-called "killer questions" during mid-term or final examinations.
It is that question that is purposely designed to "jolt" the examinee, or to psychologically wear him down at the very first encounter of an examination question.
A killer question is usually an "out of this world question", a question least expected by an examinee. It could be the most difficult question of the exam, and the very first exam question.
It happened during the 1991 bar examinations.
And who was the examiner for political law that year, who injected this killer question?
He is now associate justice of the Supreme Court Adolfo S. Azcuna, law practitioner, professor and member of the Ateneo Law Class of 1962.
You could sense a revolting reaction after that political law exam morning among the baffled, bewildered, and bothered examinees.
No one, it seemed, knew even the tiniest thing about what the writ of amparo is. Clueless could perhaps be the best description.
There were those, out of anger, who described the question a irrelevant, outlandish, stupid, etc. What is this anyway? And how does this even come close to the practice of law?
Little did we know, that more than a decade after, the writ of amparo would become one of the most relevant concepts put to life in this juridcition by the Supreme Court.
Under the constitution, the Supreme Court is expressly empowered to promulgate rules for the protection and enforcment of constitutional rights
We have obviously a Surpeme Court sporting a high sense of judicial pro-activism, quickly responding to legal needs of the people, partaining to their basic and fundamental rights, like the right to life, and the right to liberty.
But there is a story behind that eventful bar exam question of 1991.
Not long before (or was it after?) it was posed as a bar exam question, there was a legal paper, a research about the writ of amparo, that was published in the Ateneo Law Journal.
Guess who the author was?