Opposition senators to Duterte: Arrest encroachers, drug lords, not critics
MANILA, Philippines — Instead of arresting critics, President Rodrigo Duterte should arrest foreign encroachers and bigtime drug lords, opposition senators said Friday.
Senator Risa Hontiveros slammed how the President “would rather pick on his own people than confront the country’s real invader.”
“Instead of standing up to China’s aggression, President Duterte threatens his own people with warrantless arrests and war,” she said in a statement.
This was after Duterte threatened to suspend the writ of habeas during the 31st Annual Convention of Prosecutor’s League of the Philippines in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on Thursday.
“I have enough problems with criminality, drugs, rebellion and all. Pero kapag ako ang pinaabot niyo ng sagad, I will declare the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. And I will arrest all of you,” he said.
Hontiveros pointed out that what should be suspended “are not the people’s civil liberties but the onerous contracts entered into by President Duterte with the Chinese government.”
“Those who should be arrested are not our countrymen and women but foreign encroachers who illegally occupy our territories, threaten our small fisherfolk, smuggle illegal drugs and rob our workers of their jobs,” she added.
Meanwhile, Senator Francis Pangilinan said Duterte should “arrest the bigtime drug lords and his Customs appointees who have repeatedly brought in tons of shabu worth billions.”
“With the arrest of these bigtime drug lords he would have proven his drug war is for real and his critics will be silenced. …his critics silenced not by threats of arrests but by his sterling performance in going after these syndicates,” Pangilinan said in a separate statement. /muf
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