In its more plain and simple understanding, a Writ is an official Court Order. And together with Habeas Corpus, it means an Order from the competent Court releasing to it someone detained for a perceived wrongdoing as provided by law. Among other things, the said Writ is founded on the presumption of innocence until someone is proven guilty. So it is that when the said “Writ” is suspended for one reason or another, an individual caught and detained supposedly for the commission of a crime is held guilty until otherwise proven innocent.
Thus the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines reads: “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in cases of invasion or rebellion when public safety requires it.” (Bill of Rights, Section 15). The fact is that the very first Section of the said Bill of Rights reads: “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of law.”
Questions: Shall the incumbent administration suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus? Is there an actual or perceived invasion from the right? Is there a de jure or de facto rebellion from the left? What will happen next? How would the general public react to the Suspension? Will they take it simply in silence, sitting down, keeping still – or would they object thereto for one reason or another?
More questions: When the said Writ is suspended, what follows next? Will there be peace and quiet all over the land? Or would certain sectors of society in effect instance a rebellion of one kind or another? Then what? What follows next? What happens then? All the above and these questions raised plus other queries thereto relevant only mean one and the same thing: The Suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus means very much more than it says – given the immediately past and now present public authorities. Hence, needless to say, the suspension of the Writ is anything but something to be chevalier about.
More concretely speaking, is there not in fact an on-going conciliatory talks between the Left and the administration? Is there not in effect likewise on-going reconciliatory efforts with the MNLF at least? Is there no foreseen victory in the on-going effort of the AFP to do away with the Maute group? Is not the government winning its on-going offensive against the manufacture and distribution, sale and use of prohibited drugs? Or is there something sinister going on or anything foreseen to come about and that could trample upon national security and/or integrity?