Close  
PRESIDENT’S THREAT CHALLENGED

Duterte need not suspend writ, say senators

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

President Rodrigo Duterte. AP File Photo

At least five senators saw no need for President Duterte to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus that would allow law enforcers to make warrantless arrests.

Senators Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Leila de Lima and Bam Aquino, all of the Liberal Party (LP), issued a joint statement declaring that the illegal drug problem, against which Mr. Duterte had waged an all-out war, was not a ground for suspending the privilege of the writ.

ADVERTISEMENT

The senators pointed out that the government was conducting peace talks with armed groups and that they supported this initiative.

“We see no basis for the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and we shall remain committed to upholding the sacred constitutional safeguards to the rights of the Filipino people,” they said.

FEATURED STORIES

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, an independent, said in a radio interview that the suspension of the privilege of the writ would “not speak well of the Philippine National Police’s war on drugs and criminality” because it would mean that the PNP had lost the fight.

Contradicting the PNP

The police would be contradicting its statement that crime has gone down by 49 percent, he said.

Lacson said he did not think Mr. Duterte was serious, noting the President’s penchant for “rhetorical statements” and his tendency to engage in a “psywar.” He said he hoped the statement was “just a joke.”

De Lima, a trenchant administration critic who has been accused by the President himself of receiving drug money to fund her senatorial bid in May, warned Mr. Duterte’s remarks could send a “dangerous message to the public” and asked him “to stop toying with the idea … in his desperate bid to legitimize his administration’s flawed war on illegal drugs.”

“To concede to this temptation would result to more innocent blood gushing, human dignity desecrated and the basic human rights being blatantly violated,” De Lima said in a separate statement.

State of lawlessness

She urged Mr. Duterte instead to review the achievement of his administration’s declaration of a state of lawlessness in the country for the past two months to help “cure the defects of its all-out war campaign on drugs and curb its abuses to prevent extrajudicial killings and summary executions.”

Mr. Duterte on Friday warned he would suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus if lawlessness in the country escalates.

ADVERTISEMENT

He mentioned the rebellion in Mindanao, the worsening battle with the Maute terrorist group and the alleged widespread illegal drug operations in the country.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said on Sunday he saw “alarming shades of martial law” in Mr. Duterte’s threat.

The opposition lawmaker said that the suspension of the privilege of the writ might only “further embolden the police to summarily execute suspects or cause their involuntary disappearance.”

“The deadly campaign against drug traffickers and narcotic abuse is not a ground for suspension. Claims of success of peace initiatives in Mindanao belie a brewing rebellion,” Lagman said.

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

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.

TAGS: Bam Aquino, Drug war, Duterte Administration, Edcel Lagman, Francis Pangilinan, Franklin Drilon, Leila de Lima, Maute terrorist group, Philippine news updates, writ of habeas corpus
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.