High Court Hears Legal Arguments on Warrantless Arrests

By Panaligan, Rey G. | Manila Bulletin, May 4, 2001 | Go to article overview

High Court Hears Legal Arguments on Warrantless Arrests


Panaligan, Rey G., Manila Bulletin


Legal arguments on warrantless arrests as a result of the declaration of a state of rebellion in Metro Manila following the May 1 Malacanang siege were heard by the Supreme Court until early last night.

But the High Court could not immediately hand down a ruling on the issue, which was made urgent by the arrest and detention of two opposition leaders, until after it has received the memorandums of the parties involved in the controversy within 24 hours.

The 24-hour deadline to file memorandum expires at 7 p.m. today. The justices agreed to meet after the oral argument last night but this fizzled out when some justices begged off due to fatigue after the four-hour hearing.

Court sources said the issue on warrantless arrests may be informally discussed today during a scheduled special session to tackle the petition for a live media coverage of the trial of Estrada for plunder.

Only two of the four petitions involving the declaration of state of rebellion in Metro Manila were tackled yesterday. These were the petitions for the writ of habeas corpus filed by reelectionist Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and former ambassador and senator Ernesto Maceda.

Both are now detained at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

The petitions of reelectionist Senator Miriam Santiago and senatorial candidate Panfilo Lacson, which both sought a stop to warrantless arrests, have yet to be tackled by the High Court.

Yesterday morning, the Department of Justice (DoJ) filed with the Quezon City regional trial court (RTC) rebellion charges against Enrile, a non-bailable offense under Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by RA 6968.

At the hearing, Justice Secretary Hernando told the High Court that the government had announced the lifting on May 7 of the state of rebellion in Metro Manila.

Perez also said that Enrile led the march of Estrada supporters from EDSA to Malacanang after the re-electionist senator had delivered his speech.

"After the impassioned speech, Enrile marched from Ortigas to Malacanang. Initially, he did, your honor," was Perez's answer to a querry posed by Associate Justice Reynato S. …

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