Manila, Philippines – As the nationwide election gun ban starts tomorrow, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced yesterday the setup of more checkpoints and reminded its personnel to observe standard procedures in carrying out operations against illegal firearms.
Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo, PNP spokesperson, said there will be more checkpoints in various parts of the country to implement the Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban in efforts to reduce election-related violence in the May polls.
Cerbo reminded police officers manning checkpoints to observe standard operating procedures, including being in full uniform and conducting checkpoints in properly lighted areas to allow motorists to be able to read the sign and see the policemen.
The PNP released a list of guidelines so that the general public may be informed whether or not the police checkpoints are legitimate and following their standard operating procedures.
Among them are:
- Policemen are limited to conducting visual inspections of vehicles.
- Checkpoints must be well-lighted, properly identified, and policemen have to be in proper general office attire (GOA) or patrol uniforms and not in combat uniforms or camouflage.
- There should be a sign indicating that it is a checkpoint, the name of the team leader, and there should be a marked police vehicle.
- Upon approach, motorists must slowdown, dim headlights, and turn on cabin lights. – Never step out of the vehicle.
- Do not submit to a physical or body search.
- Motorists are not obliged to open the glove compartment, trunk, or bags.
- Ordinary and routine questions may be asked. Be courteous but firm with answers.
- Assert your rights, have presence of mind, and do not panic.
- Keep driver’s license and car registration handy and within reach.
- Be ready to use your cellphone at anytime. Speed Dial emergency number and report violations immediately.
- Police can only inspect vehicles or their drivers and passengers to get off under “extreme circumstances and when there are reasonable grounds” such as if the vehicles are suspected to be “getaway vehicles” or hot cars.
Cerbo said that policemen should be polite when approaching drivers as this would inspire trust on the part of the motorists.
Meanwhile, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) is ready to implement the additional checkpoints.
NCRPO chief Director Leonardo Espina said they will be simultaneously be launched midnight tonight.
Espina said the police will work with the Comelec and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in implementing the checkpoints. (PNA)
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