Press Statement
April 5, 2019

Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, +639173162831
Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580

Karapatan on Duterte’s threat to suspend the writ of habeas corpus

The bully has once again spoken. In the face of glaring failures in his flagship fascist policies, allegations on the complicity of the government in the illegal drug trade, exposed onerous deals with China and embarrassing handling of the West Philippine Sea issue, and escalating human rights violations, Duterte has once again used his foul mouth to curse out one of his convenient targets — his critics.

Now, madman Duterte is now threatening to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. Though it is important to emphasize that he has run after his critics even without suspending the writ of habeas corpus, formally doing so would further cripple our fundamental democratic rights.. The cases of Senator Leila de Lima, journalist Maria Ressa, and the hundreds of political prisoners in the country remain as examples of a vindictive government which immediately resorts to all-out political persecution at the onset of any form of investigation.

The suspension of the writ of habeas corpus has to have sufficient basis as mandated by the Constitution. Duterte thinks he is above the law after putting in place a submissive supermajority in Congress and in the Supreme Court. He thinks he can pass, railroad, and get away with anti-people policies after installing militarists in his Cabinet and bootlickers in his government. However, we remind Duterte that he is not above the law. All forms of protests are being waged against his anti-people policies, and corruption and cracks in his government are continuously being exposed. Lest he forget, Duterte is accountable to the Filipino people. Our human rights are not subject to his personal whims, interests and lunacy. From what we have seen, we cannot expect anything revolutionary from the Duterte government. What is more plausible is the intensified onslaught of killings and human rights violations to stifle dissent and to bury the crimes perpetrated by this government.
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PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan..org
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Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146
Web: http://www.karapatan.org

KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.