Press Release
June 7, 2006

File charges against cops who committed illegal acts
under 1017 now, says Drilon

Senate President and Liberal Party head Franklin Drilon today urged lawyers of government critics whose human rights were violated in the implementation of Presidential Proclamation 1017 to file criminal charges in court now in order to teach overzealous law enforcers a bitter lesson against enforcing illegal and immoral orders issued by their superiors.

Drilon made the recommendation after the Supreme Court (SC) rejected with finality this morning Malacanang's appeal for reconsideration of the court's ruling on Proclamation 1017, which placed the country under a weeklong state of national emergency last February.

"The Supreme Court has finalized what lawyers consider as a stinging rebuke of President Arroyo's questionable policies. Perhaps, now is the time to make sure that we bring to court those overzealous law enforcers who knew that they were violating the rights of citizens but still went on to enforce the obviously illegal, unconstitutional and immoral orders," he added.

At the same time, Drilon reiterated his appeal to the Philippine National Police, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law-enforcement agencies "not to obey illegal orders and to protect the civil and political rights of our citizens in accordance with their solemn oaths of office to defend and apply the provisions of the Constitution."

"The Supreme Court once more stands pat on the spirit and principles of our democratic constitution, especially in the protection of the civil and political liberties of the individual and the public, which are of paramount concern in a democratic and progressive society," Drilon added.

In its decision, the High Court said it found no new arguments in the motion for partial reconsideration filed by the Solicitor General Eduardo Nachura, the author of PP 1017.

The SC noted that all issues raised by Nachura in the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) appeal were already discussed in the original ruling released by the high court during its summer deliberations in Baguio City last April.

In an 11-3 vote last May 3, the high court upheld the constitutionality of PP 1017, but it declared as invalid the crackdowns not related to suppressing lawless violence.

President Arroyo issued PP 1017 last February 24, citing a purported grand conspiracy among military adventurists, communist rebels and opposition leaders to oust her. She eventually lifted emergency rule on March 3.

Ismael Khan, Supreme Court spokesman, said the high tribunal ruled as illegal General Order No. 5, which authorized the warrantless arrests of several personalities and raids on private companies including the Daily Tribune.

Khan said the arrests of professor Randy David, Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran and Akbayan national chairman Rolando Llamas were illegal. David and Llamas were arrested as they tried to negotiate with police to hold a rally during the February 24 celebration of the 1986 People Power Revolution.

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