Duterte backs 14-day detention for terror suspects: Palace


Posted at Jun 24 2020 10:47 AM

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President Rodrigo Duterte believes the anti-terrorism bill allowing authorities to hold suspects without charge for at least 2 weeks does not violate the Constitution, his spokesperson said Wednesday. 

The Revised Penal Code allows the 36-hour pre-trial detention of terror suspects to prevent evasion and destruction of evidence, said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque. 

"As a [former] trial fiscal, there's one issue that he has no problems with: that is pre-trial detention," he told ANC. 

"He does not feel that the 14-day period is actually a violation of the constitutional provision that a warrant of arrest can only be issued by a judge because the law does not change that constitutional rule," he added. 

Duterte backs 14-day detention for terror suspects: Palace 1
Protestors wearing masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), raise their fists and placards during a rally against the anti-terrorism bill on Independence Day, in University of the Philippines, Quezon City, June 12, 2020. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

The measure, which is up for Duterte's signature, will also let the government wiretap suspects and arrest them without warrant, among others provisions. 
The President will decide on whether or not to approve the bill a day or two after he receives the recommendations of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, said Roque. 

"Barring constitutional infirmities, he is inclined to sign it but he wants to see the bill. He wants to make a personal determination," he said. 

ANC, June 24, 2020