PNP says checkpoints adhere to international human rights standard

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday expresses confidence that police checkpoints will showcase the police’s human rights policy that adhere to human rights and international humanitarian law.

At the same time, PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima reminded all police unit commanders anew to closely supervise checkpoint operations set-up to enforce a nationwide election gun ban that will last for 150-days.

“The PNP must promote and protect human rights because this task lies at the very core of maintaining peace and order, ensuring public safety, and upholding the rule of law in the country,” Purisima said in a statement.

The PNP chief also emphasized that. “Human Rights protection is the first business of law enforcement.”

Instructions coming from the PNP national headquarters direct all police units to insure that all personnel assigned to man Comelec checkpoints are properly briefed and oriented prior to be deployed.

“They must be properly briefed and oriented prior to deployment with emphasis on proper conduct and behavior when conducting checkpoints,” Purisima said.

The PNP chief also instructed the PNP Directorial Staff to insure proper education and orientation on human rights values among PNP personnel, including basic protocols in citizen contact.

“That must be observed by all police personnel, especially by frontline units that are in direct contact with the public consistent with international human rights standards for law enforcement and general principles of law enforcement operations,” Purisima said.

On his part, PNP spokesman, Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., said the basic rule in checkpoints is that it must be legitimate and covered by appropriate official orders coming from higher authorities.

“While we recognize the importance of checkpoints in law enforcement operations, it is equally important that we must respect the basic rights of citizens,” Cerbo said.

The PNP spokesman said that checkpoint operations, search of vehicles for weapons is limited only to visual search under the “plain view doctrine”.

“Police may conduct further warrant-less search in checkpoints under specifically justifiable circumstances,” Cerbo said.

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