Duterte just 'thinking out loud' on habeas corpus threat

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 15 2016 07:41 PM | Updated as of Nov 16 2016 01:48 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte. Erik de Castro, Reuters

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte was just “thinking out loud.”

So said Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III on the president’s threat to suspend the writ of habeas corpus to deal with “lawlessness” in Mindanao.

Senators who attended the informal meeting of the Legislative and Economic Development Council (LEDAC) with Duterte at the Palace said there was no indication the president will suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corups.

Pimentel the president did not indicate that he will push through with the plan.

"Hindi na. Kasi wala namang sinabi na imminent na eh. Hindi naman po nasabi iyon. Sinabi lang niya he was just ‘thinking out loud,’” said Pimentel.

Pimentel, however, said that while Duterte did not specifically say he will suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, he talked about his war on drugs.

"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,” he said.

“Maybe six inches thick iyon of names of government. Wala pa doon yung outside of government personalities involved in drugs.”

Senate Majority Leader Tito Sotto also believes the president will not move to suspend the privilege.

"Hindi…sinabi nya lang na it was a thought, napagiisipan pero hindi naman kailangan gawin," said Sotto.

During the LEDAC meeting, the President discussed pieces of legislation such as amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Law, the abolition of the Road Board as well as tax measures.