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What is the writ of Habeas corpus?

HABEAS CORPUS – The writ of Habeas corpus is one of the remedies that can help prevent unlawful detention of a person.

Previously, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has warned about suspending the writ of Habeas corpus in case drugs would continue in the Philippines. One of those who are vocal about their disagreement to the warning of the national leader is Senator Leila de Lima who stressed that it would lead to innocent deaths.

Sen. de Lima, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration, is currently detained over drug charges filed against her. It was in February 2017 when she surrendered herself to the authorities following the release of the arrest warrant.

In May 2017, Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte suspended the writ of Habeas corpus but not because of drugs in the country. The suspension was also limited to Mindanao.

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte

Photo lifted from | Photo Courtesy of Bullit Marquez

Based on a report on PhilStar, Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte suspended the writ of Habeas corpus amid the on-going war in Mindanao which cost the lives of several people. His decision came after a martial law declaration on the said part of the country.

The Philippines is not the only country observing the said writ as Australia, France, Germany, and India are among the other countries that also upholds the way to prevent unlawful detention of a person. How does it do it?

The writ of Habeas corpus gives the person the right to request the court to order the police or the custodian to bring him or her to the court so the lawfulness of his or her detention would be distinguished.

Aside from the detainee himself, another person who can make the request to the court is someone who stands on behalf of the detainee like his or her lawyer.

The attorney may lay down their ground over the detention of his or her client and the court also has the privilege to request the custodian or the police to justify the detention of the person.

Writ of Habeas Corpus

In the Philippines, another instance wherein the writ of Habeas corpus was suspended was during the time of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. It came after the Plaza Miranda incident which has left several people dead.

It was under the administration of former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that the writ was introduced again.

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