Several senators responded to Duterte’s arrest threat

Some senators responded to President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat to arrest lawmakers who would contempt officials under Duterte if they did not appear at Senate hearings.

According to Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Duterte cannot simply arrest and imprison any person, whether he is a senator or not.

Only a court has the power to issue an arrest warrant, and even warrantless arrest must be under the rules.

The president should know this because he is also a lawyer, Lacson said.

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III echoed Lacson’s statement and said the Senate is just doing its job.

Pimentel insisted that the Senate would continue its function despite Duterte’s order.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros, on the other hand, wondered why Duterte was ready to issue an alleged illegal order and have a constitutional crisis just to protect an allegedly favored company and selected officials.

Hontiveros questioned what was in Pharmally, and Duterte himself was the lawyer for them.

Duterte warned that he would arrest senators if they contempt executives for not appearing at Senate hearings on Wednesday night.

Several senators responded to Duterte’s arrest threat

This follows his recent issuance of an order prohibiting Cabinet secretaries from attending the Senate investigation into the ’s alleged overpriced purchase of -19 supplies.

“Kung i-cite kayo in contempt, ‘pag nalaman ko… ang ikulong ko iyong mga senador,” said Duterte in a taped address.

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez thanked Duterte and said that agencies are once again focused on responding to the COVID-19 because of his mandate.

“At least nakatutok na kami at wala kami distraction, iyon ang hindi nakikita ng Senado eh,” said Galvez.

Despite the senators’ buck, Duterte insisted that he would not withdraw the dropped memo and challenged the senators to pursue the threat to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Malacañang is confident that Duterte’s memorandum will pass if the senators file it in the Supreme Court.

The Philippine Bar Association had earlier asserted that Duterte was putting the government’s checks and balances and separation of powers in jeopardy because of its order against a co-equal branch.

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