THREE prison officials asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to issue a writ of habeas corpus after the Senate detained them during its inquiry into the early release of convicts under the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA).
Ramoncito Roque, chief of the Records and Documents Section of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor); lawyer Frederic Anthony Santos, legal officer of the Records and Documents Section of BuCor; and Ursicio Cenas, medical officer of the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) Hospital were arrested and detained on September 12.
Named respondents were Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd, Senator Richard Gordon and retired Maj. Gen. Rene Samonte, Senate sergeant-at-arms.
The three petitioners also asked the CA to issue a final order that would declare their arrest and detention illegal.
They claimed that the blue ribbon committee violated their right to due process when they were not given a chance to present their side.
They argued that they should have been given a chance to explain, and not immediately be cited in contempt.
They said the committee failed to show how they failed in their testimony.
They also said that the contempt order was void since the duration of their detention was not indicated.
They said the Supreme Court has laid down its jurisprudence that the contempt powers of the Senate shall last until the end of its legislative inquiry.
“The blue ribbon committee issued the arrest order in clear violation of of petitioners’ constitutional right to due process; and secondly, the arrest order was issued in violation of a person’s right to liberty being indefinite in nature,” they said. JOMAR CANLAS