14-day pre-trial detention in terror bill no problem with Duterte — Palace
MANILA, Philippines — A provision under the controversial anti-terror bill that requires a 14-day pre-trial detention for suspected terrorists does not pose a problem as far as President Duterte is concerned, his spokesperson said Wednesday.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the President does not see this provision on detention of terror suspects under the proposed law as a violation of the Constitution.
“Let’s just say that as a trial fiscal, there’s one issue that he (Duterte) has no problems with, and that is pre-trial detention,” Roque said, noting Duterte’s previous job as a prosecutor.
“He does not feel that the 14-day period is actually a violation of the Constitutional provision that a warrant of arrest can only be issued by a judge because the law does not change that constitutional rule,” Roque said.
Under the proposed measure, the Anti-Terror Council (ATC) could order the arrest of a suspected terrorist and his detention for 14 days, extendable by another 10 days, without so much as a charge filed against him.
“After the pre-trial detention of 14 days, extended for another 10 days, and notice has to be given to the nearest judge, it is the court that will issue the warrant of arrest for the purpose of actually arresting him or for the purpose of the court acquiring jurisdiction over the person of the accused,” he added.
Several groups have opposed the provision of extended pre-trial detention under the anti-terror bill, with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines saying it is “exclusively a judicial power” under the 1987 Constitution.
The Concerned Lawyers for Civil Liberties also thumbed down the provision saying the ATC “is not a court” and therefore cannot “authorize an arrest.”
Earlier, Roque said the President is inclined to sign the anti-terror bill into law.
The President himself said that his legal team is still reviewing the proposed measure and it has yet to arrive on his desk.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.