Duterte ‘thinking aloud, not serious’ about suspending writ—solons
President Rodrigo Duterte said he was just “thinking aloud” when he spoke about the possibility of suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus if lawlessness in the country escalated.
This was how Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III quoted the President as saying during a “mini” Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) meeting on Monday night.
The meeting was attended by congressional leaders and members of the President’s Cabinet.
“Nasabi lang nya na (He said that) he was only thinking out loud na ano ba yung mga (about what) weapons or ammunition or methods available to him. Yun lang po yan. Walang sinabi kung itutuloy (That’s it. He didn’t whether he would push for it), ” Pimentel told reporters on Tuesday.
“At ipinakita nya sa amin (And he showed us), and this consumed a lot of time, ano yung enormity of the drug problem because he showed to us the thick dossier or thick reports that he has in possession, maybe six inches thick yun of names of government (personalities) pa lang (alone), wala pa yung (not yet including those) outside the government, involved in drugs,” he said.
Asked if there were legislators who discouraged the President from pursing that idea, Pimentel said there was no need for it since it was just an idea.
“Kasi wala namang sinabi na imminent na e (He didn’t say that it is imminent). Sinabi lang nya (He only said that) he was just thinking out loud,” the Senate leader said.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, who also attended the hearing, believes the President was not serious when he talked about suspending the privilege.
“Sabi lang nya (He said that), it was a thought, napag iisipan pero hindi naman kailangang gawin (he thought about it but won’t necessarily do it),” Sotto said in a separate interview.
“Sabi lang nya nabanggit ko lang yun, parang ganun (He said that he only mentioned about it and) it was just in passing. Yung iba jumpy lang pag nakakarinig ng mga ganun kaya (Others are just jumpy when they hear it but) I don’t think the President is serious in considering it at all,” he added.
Sotto said Duterte had only probably raised the idea in case the government would not be successful in curtailing the drug menace in the country.
“Yun ang mga possibilities pero sabi nga nya kahit martial law, hindi masusugpo yan basta-basta (Those are the possiblities but he said that even under martial law, the drug menace couldn’t be curtailed immediately),” he said. RAM/rga
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