Friday, January 11, 2013

Public advisory on police and military checkpoints

During the implementation of the COMELEC Gun Ban, police/military checkpoints will be established in strategic areas to implement the ban.
We should not be afraid of our law enforcers because they are required to follow legal procedures.
Likewise, every citizen is also entitled to his constitutional rights, specifically Section 2, Article III (Searches and Seizures).
I would like to share the previous Advisory Opinion signed by Secretary Leila De Lima in March 2011.
The intent of this advisory is to protect the public from abuses committed by law enforcers and to weed out illegal checkpoints.

Please read and understand the provisions:

1. Checkpoint must be well-lighted, properly identified and manned by uniformed personnel.
2. Upon approach, slow down, dim headlights and turn on cabin lights. Never step out of the vehicle.
3. Lock all doors. Only visual search is allowed.
4. Do not submit to a physical or bodily search.
5. You are not obliged to open glove compartment, trunk or bags.
6.  Ordinary/routine questions may be asked. Be courteous but firm with answers.
7.  Assert your rights, have presence of mind and do not panic.
8.  Keep your driver’s license and car registration handy and within reach.
9.  Be ready to use your cellphone at anytime. Speed dial emergency number.
10. Report violations immediately. Your actions may save others.

My own reminders:

Relax. Flash a smile. Be courteous. They are your protectors. Our uniformed servicemen are just doing their jobs. Let us support them.

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