MANILA - Businessmen on Sunday urged government and the public to uphold constitutional rights following the Supreme Court's landmark decision against warrantless arrests and seizures based on anonymous tips.
At least 11 business groups said they were "highly encouraged by the Court's determination to uphold the rule of law over the rule of men."
"We thank the Court for delivering a message that no citizen should be deprived of his personal liberty based on unlawfully obtained evidence, such as in an illegal search or a warrantless arrest," they said.
There is nothing more sacred in society than the rule of law and justice, the groups said.
"We appeal to all the sectors of the government, as well as ordinary citizens, to be watchful and to help ensure that constitutional rights are always protected, and that those who violate the same are held accountable. Truly, our officials are sworn 'to do justice to every man.'," they said.
The statement was signed by the following groups:
- Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines
- Institute of Corporate Directors
- Institute for Solidarity in Asia
- Investment Houses Association of the Philippines
- Judicial Reform Initiative
- Makati Business Club
- Management Association of the Philippines
- Shareholders Association of the Philippines
- American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines
- European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
The high court, in a decision dated June 16, acquitted a drug suspect and reminded law enforcers to never sacrifice the Bill of Rights “on the altar of convenience.”
Citing American and Philippine cases, the high court said an unverified information from an anonymous informant alone was not sufficient to constitute probable cause to justify extensive warrantless search of a moving vehicle and the suspect's belongings.
--With reports from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News