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No ground for suspension of writ of habeas corpus – labor group

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By Analou De Vera

A labor coalition insists there is “no ground” to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, as President Duterte threatened to do so.

FFW President Sonny Matula (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Atty. Sonny Matula, chairperson of Nagkaisa Labor Coalition
(Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

On Thursday, President Duterte threatened to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and declare a revolutionary war.

“There is no actual or existing rebellion or invasion contemplated under Section 18, Article VII of the Philippine Constitution that can be invoked to justify the suspension,” said Atty. Sonny Matula, chairperson of Nagkaisa Labor Coalition.

The Constitution states under Article VII (Executive Department), Section 18 that “the President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion, or rebellion. In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus….”

Matula doubts that the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will follow such orders.

“I don’t think members of the AFP will follow his orders if he will suspend the privilege under his military power as commander-in-chief,” he said.

Matula said the President might be exaggerating his statements again, which he is known for. “Maybe he is joking again, as will be explained by his spokespersons,” he said.

However, the labor leader said that such statement is “no laughing matter.” He then urged the public to be vigilant with regards to their rights.

“This is no laughing matter. Our human rights are being threatened. That’s the serious matter that we need to address. Let’s be vigilant to protect our civil rights and to protect ourselves from unlawful arrest, threat, or other forms of repression,” Matula said.

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