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Duterte ally Zarate on writ suspension: Sana joke lang

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Remember President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement that his outrageous statements shouldn’t be taken seriously?

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate is crossing his fingers that Duterte’s recent remark about the potential suspension of the writ of habeas corpus is just that–a non-serious statement.

“The suspension of the privilege of the Writ is [neither] necessary nor legally allowed on the basis of lawlessness, as the 1987 Constitution limits the grounds only to invasion or rebellion, and, when public safety requires it,” said the leftist solon.

Last Friday, Duterte said that he was mulling the suspension of the writ in order to boost the police campaign against illegal drugs as well as to suppress an alleged “rebellion” in Mindanao.

Zarate, a lawyer, argued that such justifications won’t hold water.

“From the pronouncements of top executive and police officials, the drug campaign is going well (leveling up, in fact, they said) and peace talks with rebel forces are progressing.

“Also, Sec. Martin Andanar said it was not a serious proposal, just ‘an idea that was floated.’ Let’s leave it at that, then,” he said.

Zarate and the rest of Makabayan bloc in Congress are allied with the Duterte administration, but they are opposing the possible suspension of writ privileges.

They also vehemently challenged the Palace-ordered burial of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB), but we all know how that turned out.