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Duterte assures senators he’s just thinking out loud on suspending writ of habeas corpus

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President Rodrigo Duterte told lawmakers he was just sounding off his options in fighting the drug menace when he revealed that he was planning to suspend the writ of habeas corpus as one of his options.

In an interview with reporters, Senate President Koko Pimentel said the President talked about his plan to make arrests without any warrants before they sat down for Legislative and Developmen Advisory Council meeting in Malacanang Monday.

“Nadiscuss po iyon sa preliminary talk before we went to the meat of the meeting. Nasabi nya na he was only thinking out loud kung ano ba yung mga weapons or ammunition or methods that are available to him. Yun lang po iyon,” said Pimentel.

Pimentel said Duterte did not say whether he would push through with it or not but he only showed the senators and congressmen a thick document‎ on the thousands of policemen, barangay captains, judges, governors, mayors and lawmakers in cahoots with drug lords.

“Walang sinabi kung itutuloy ba, pinakita niya sa amin na – and this consumed a lot of time- yung enormity of the drug problem, because he showed to us the thick dossier or reports he has in his possession. Maybe six inches thick iyon of names of government – wala pa doon yung outside of government – personalities involved in drugs,” said Pimentel.

Pimentel said the lawmakers did not dwell on the topic and try to discourage Duterte from suspending the writ of habeas corpus. “Hindi na, kasi wala naming sinabi na imminent na eh. Hindi naman po nasabi iyon, sinabi lang niya he was just thinking out loud,” said Pimentel.

Duterte said he would need Congress’ approval before suspending the writ of habeas corpus which could only be done in case of invasion or rebellion under the Constitution.