As the 45-day election period kicked off Wednesday in the 5 th district of Negros Occidental, policemen assigned in the area were reminded of the 10-point guidelines issued by the Philippine National Police for them in the conduct of checkpoints.
The guidelines and public advisory, that were relayed to all police units in Western Visayas, aims to ensure its implementation in proper searches and seizures to avoid violation of human rights, a memorandum issued by PNP chief Nicanor Bartolome said.
The rules to be observed by police, military and civilians at the checkpoints are:
* Checkpoint must be well-lit, properly identified and manned by uniformed personnel.
* Upon approach, slow down, dim headlights and turn on cabin lights. Never step out of the vehicle.
* Lock all doors. Only visual search is allowed.
* Do not submit to a physical or body search.
* You are not obliged to open the glove compartment, the trunk or bags.
* Ordinary/routine questions may be asked. Be courteous but firm with answers.
* Assert your rights, have presence of mind and do not panic.
* Keep your driver's license and car registration handy and within reach.
* Be ready to use your cellular phone at any time. Save an emergency number on your speed dial.
* Report violations immediately. Your actions may save others.
In his memorandum, said PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome, the advisory will also serve as guides for motorists on how to deal with the authorities at checkpoints, and as a warning to erring law enforcers.
Two days since the gun ban took effect in the 5 th district, which is composed of Himamaylan City, Binalbagan, Hinigaran, Isabela, La Castellana and Moises Padilla, the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office had not recorded any violation.
Bartolome also ordered PNP units to strictly abide by the instructions of the Department of Justice to implement a " no tint " or "clear window " policy among marked police vehicles in order to gain the trust and confidence of the citizenry.
He said the move is also designed to prevent scalawags in uniform from using police cars for illicit activities or for violating traffic regulations.* GPB