Dela Rosa backs Duterte plan to suspend writ of habeas corpus
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa on Monday expressed his support for the plan of President Rodrigo Duterte to suspend the writ of habeas corpus to combat illegal drugs and lawlessness in Mindanao.
"Number one it will make our job easier. Number two, it will provide enough deterrence to the drug violators," Dela Rosa said in a press conference in Camp Crame on Monday.
Duterte on Friday broached the idea of suspending the writ of habeas corpus when he spoke about the drug problem which has affected about four million people.
"If you force my hand, I will declare the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, not martial law," Duterte said in his speech in Davao City.
The writ suspension will also be used to address the rebellion in Mindanao. He mentioned the Maute Group as one of the armed groups sowing lawlessness in the region.
"This is just my warning to them. I don't want it because it's not good," Duterte said.
The writ of habeas corpus, a safeguard against warrantless arrest, is an order from a court to a person or institution holding someone in custody to deliver a imprisoned person to the court issuing the order.
Dela Rosa was asked about concerns a suspension of the writ would open abuses from the police. In response, the PNP chief said an abusive policeman will still commit criminal acts. "If a cop is abusive, he will commit abuses no matter what," he said.
What he can assure is the PNP remains committed to upholding their mandate.
"We remain here to serve and protect. We will serve truthfully and will not commit abuses," said Dela Rosa. Emmanuel Tupas/DMS