PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s congressional allies yesterday assured the public that he will seek justice without violating human rights after declaring a state of national emergency in the aftermath of the deadly bombing at Davao City last Friday.
Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, former President-turned Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu said President Duterte will not abuse his power in protecting the country from its enemies.
“Definitely the President will respond to the Davao blast with justice and not violations of human rights. In the midst of tragedy, there is no place for hatred and politics. Let us stop criticisms and blame-game, all the victims and their loved ones need now are support, comfort and sympathy,” said Romualdez, wife of former House Independent Bloc Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa).
Arroyo said the people should trust President Duterte in the implementation of “state of lawlessness,” explaining he will be judicious and would not abuse the authority as his critics fear.
“President Duterte knows all the lessons, because he was helping me a lot during my time. He was my adviser on peace and order and drugs. He knows my experience, he knows all the lessons,” Arroyo told reporters during a press conference. “I did not experience their abuse, being abusive. I don’t think they will abuse it now.
For his part, Abu explained that the rights of citizens will neither be violated nor suspended because of Duterte’s declaration of a state of emergency.
“I fully support President Duterte’s declaration of a state of lawlessness which is in consonance with the 1987 Constitution, allowing the President to call on the armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence,” Abu said. “Under the presidential declaration, there is no suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and there will be no curfew imposed in these extraordinary times.”
“I don’t see anything irregular if the soldiers and police are authorized to conduct searches in accordance with the guidelines of the national government,” Abu added.
Earlier, lawmakers condemned in the strongest possible terms the barbaric act that massacred 14 people and injured 67 others in Davao City allegedly perpetrated by the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).