Some congressmen do not believe that suspension of Habeas Corpus may pave the way for the declaration of martial law.
According to lawmakers, this is the privilege of the president given by the Constitution. But Congress may scrutinize and even retract the said action.
“If the president exercises such powers, it is the job of the president to justify to Congress if it is really called for and Congress will, without any need, will come into session to discuss specifically that call as part of the check and balance of our Constitution,” PBA partylist representative Jericho Nograles explained.
For Ako-Bicol partylist representative Rodel Batocabe, suspension of Habeas Corpus can only be used in two instances – invasion and rebellion. And it cannot be used in crimes.
“He will give a letter to give reasons or the basis for the suspension. Then, we will have to convene so that we can go over the declaration of the president. We can agree or disagree and when we agree we can even extend,” said Senate President Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Department of Justice called on the public not to worry over the statement of the president on a possible suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus.
AFP spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla assured that if ever the declaration will be released, the Armed Forces will respect the right and welfare of the people.
“If he will declare, he wants something but expressing in hyberbole. Just making the issue bigger but in reality unless his hands is forced to declare such suspension, he will not do it. It needs to be in place,” said DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.
The Writ of Habeas Corpus gives an individual the right to contest in court his or her arrest and detention.
It serves also as protection of an individual on their freedom against government arbitrary action.
According to the Constitution, the president has the privilege to suspend it if there are cases of invasion or rebellion. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue