Five senators have so far expressed disapproval on President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to possibly suspend the writ of habeas corpus, an act that gives law enforcers the power to conduct arrests without a need for a warrant.
The senators who voiced out their concern over the president’s plan included Senator Panfilo Lacson and Liberal Party Senators Leila de Lima, Francis Pangilinan, Bam Aquino and Franklin Drilon, the Inquirer reports.
According to the senators, they currently see no need nor basis for the Duterte administration to push on with such an extreme measure to address its problems.
On Friday, Duterte pronounced during a speaking engagement in Davao City that he might execute the suspension of the writ due to the ongoing rebellion in Mindanao.
“There’s a rebellion being waged now in Mindanao at kung magkalat itong state of lawlessness, I might be forced to... Ayaw ko, ayaw ko. Warning ko lang sa kanila yan.”
“Ayaw ko kasi hindi maganda but if you force my hand into it, I will declare the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.”
Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa for his part was supportive of this, saying that aside from curbing rebellion, the suspension will help them greatly in the war on drugs.
Meanwhile, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar clarified to state-run dzRB radio that Duterte’s plan to suspend the writ is actually based on the war on drugs and not the Mindanao rebellion.
“Iyong pagbanggit po ng Pangulo ng suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, I believe that this is pertaining to our problem, to our problem in the illegal drugs here in the country.”