Duterte to make warrantless arrests even without martial law
MANILA, Philippines – If Congress does not extend martial law in Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte is prepared to make warrantless arrests "in good faith."
"Now, ‘pag wala na ‘yan (martial law) and if I have to arrest you without a warrant, I will arrest you without a warrant, with or without martial law," said Duterte on Friday, July 21.
He was speaking to media after giving a speech at an investment forum in Davao City.
He was asked if he had any expectations for the Special Session Congress will be having on Saturday, July 22 to discuss his request for martial law extension.
"If I think that it is part of the war, if I believe in good faith na kasali ka sa rebelde, huhulihin kita (that you are a rebel, I will catch you) with or without martial law," he said.
The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, which Duterte declared alongside martial law, allows the government to arrest without a warrant "persons judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in or directly connected with the invasion."
But during the suspension, those arrested or detained must be judicially charged within 3 days, or otherwise released.
Martial law recommendation
Duterte is asking Congress to extend martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus until December 31, 2017, or for another 5 months.
In the interview, he said the 5-month timeframe did not come from him but was suggested by security officials. He declined to name who.
"Sa kanila 'yan (It's from them)," said Duterte.
He asked for 5 more months so that martial law would also cover the period of Marawi rehabilitation and to prevent any "spillage" of the violence.
"So, it’s our way of, you know, trying to control things so they will not – there is a spillage, it will not be as great as when you do not have these stopgap [measures]," he said.
Of the 310 persons covered by martial law arrest orders, only over 60 have been arrested. (DOCUMENTS: Read gov't releases on martial law in Mindanao)
Duterte's martial law proclamation lapses on Saturday, given the 60-day time limit set in the 1987 Constitution. – Rappler.com