MANILA -- Liberal Party (LP) senators see no basis for the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, dismissing the "drug menace" as possible grounds. “The drug menace is not a ground to suspend the privilege of the writ,” Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Bam Aquino, Leila de Lima and Franklin Drilon said in a joint statement on Sunday.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday announced in a speech that he might be forced to suspend the writ of habeas corpus if lawlessness in the country continues.
READ: Duterte: I may be forced to suspend writ of habeas corpus
The writ of habeas corpus grants a person the right to report or question an unlawful detention or imprisonment before a court.
The President, under the 1987 constitution, can suspend the privilege of the writ only in cases of invasion or rebellion and when public safety requires it.
The four senators emphasized that the suspension of the writ is only possible in cases of rebellion and invasion.
“That very Constitution, the basic law of the land, commands that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus -- a safeguard against state abuse, particularly of warrantless arrests - may only be suspended in cases of invasion and rebellion,” they said.
They added: “We see no basis for the suspension of the Filipino's 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.”
The LP also expressed support in the ongoing peace talks between the government and leftist groups. “On the matter of rebellion, the administration is already talking peace with all armed groups, and we are in full support,” they said.
Source: abs-cbn news