Palace: No reason to suspend writ of habeas corpus at this point

  • Presidential communications secretary Martin Andanar said President Rodrigo Duterte sees no compelling reason to suspend writ of habeas corpus
  • He also said the President has faith on the Philippine National Police to keep the order and safety in the country
  • Duterte has earlier said that he is sometimes tempted to declare Martial Law

President Rodrigo Duterte trusts that the Philippine National police will be able to maintain peace in the country that is why there is no need to suspend the writ of habeas corpus as earlier feared.

ABS-CBN quoted a statement from Communications Secretary Martin Andanar that Duterte sees no “compelling reason” to suspend the writ of habeas corpus.

“President Duterte finds no compelling reason to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus at this point. As a strong advocate of the rule of law, he is fully aware of the limits of presidential powers,” Andanar said in a statement on Monday.

“He (Duterte) knows that General de la Rosa is up to the job and can handle any untoward incident and the over-all situation very well. Given this, President Duterte believes any intervention at his level is unnecessary,” he added.

Writ of habeas corpus literally means “produce the body”. This gives the right of each person to be presented a document or court order to go with security forces if accused of doing something illegal. Suspending this writ would allow police or the military to pick up suspects without an issued warrant from the court, just like how it was suspended during the Martial Law.

Duterte earlier warned that he is sometimes threatened to declare Martial Law given the massive problem on illegal drugs in the country.

But under the constitution, a sitting President may only decare the suspension of the writ of habeas corps when there is a rebellion that threatens public safety. The Supreme Court will also have to review the suspension first before being declared.

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