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Checkpoints Checklist

Discussion in 'Band of Glockers' started by attyjpl, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. attyjpl

    attyjpl Dark Justice

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    QUOTED FROM MANILA TIMES, AUG. 3, 2006

    A TIMELY TIP FOR ALL BOGs

    Checkpoints’ checklist
    By Geronimo L. Sy


    IT is an essential part of our democratic setup to know and assert our rights. Our civil liberties can be breached or ignored if we are ignorant. Knowledge is indeed power in the new information age, but most important in law. We ought to study our Constitution, our legal regime and our espousal of the rule of law notwithstanding a lack of interest or weak implementation.

    This article is a checklist for checkpoints and is the first in a “know-your-rights” campaign series that will collate, synthesize and present basic legal principles for easy understanding and application by any citizen. The rules of engagement at a checkpoint encounter become especially relevant in these times when the police and military establishments are overreacting to perceived threats and security issues. Abuses happen and those committed deep in the night against solitary drivers hurrying home to their families are condemnable for they are generally helpless and there is no effective recourse to check violations and go after violators.

    In brief:

    1. Checkpoints must be well-lighted, properly identified and manned by uniformed personnel. Be alert.

    2. Upon approach, dim your headlights. If pulled over, open window three-fourths down. Greet police officer, note nameplate and maintain eye contact.

    3. Lock all doors. Talk to police officers only on one side of the vehicle.

    4. Ordinary/routine questions may be asked. Be courteous but firm with answers.

    5. Only a visual search is legal. A flashlight is allowed or cabin lights may be turned on. You are not obliged to open glove compartment, trunk or bags.

    6. Do not step out of your vehicle.

    7. Keep your drivers’ license and car registration papers handy and within reach.

    8. Avoid argument. Use common sense. Assert your rights but comply if you can.

    9. Be ready to use your cell phone at any time. Speed dial emergency numbers.

    10. Report violations as soon as possible. Your action may save others.

    These ten points are grounded on fundamental legal principles and are anchored on our Bill of Rights and enshrined in our criminal justice system to protect the innocent. In fact, even those who are guilty as hell are entitled to the same level of protection. It cannot be otherwise—the law applies to all or none at all.

    A visual search means that a police officer can only look to see if there is suspicious stuff. He cannot intrude inside the vehicle and all covered containers are off-limits. Thus, your handbag may not be searched; he cannot reach inside the car to frisk you. An SM plastic bag is ordinary and is not subject to search too. (It makes good sense to organize things in your car before the journey home.)

    Though armed with legal knowledge, it is not a substitute for common sense or the use of reason or logic when confronted by law officers at checkpoints. There is no need to be defensive, or pilosopo either. Police officers are not all bad and are certainly subject to human vicissitudes. Of course it helps a lot if you are a law-abiding citizen.

    For example, you may have the right to remain inside your vehicle as it is akin to your residence. However, what are you to do if the military man with long firearms barks at you to step out? You have no choice but to obey for the consequences of noncompliance may be worse. Justice Isagani Cruz was right on the evils of checkpoints. What you can do is to make sure your cell phone has enough battery or credits left and for someone to know where you are.

    Finally, get in touch with lawyers groups to report violations. An example is the Libertas-Lawyer’s League for Liberty where yours truly is a member. Only by systematic feedback can we hope to gather evidence and fight the good fight. If you or your organization wishes to take up this cause and do a joint project to preserve our basic rights and enhance our civil liberties, or if you simply have a story or experience to share, please drop a line. Vigilance is ours and it is the eternal price for our democracy.
     
  2. chocoboy

    chocoboy

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    Atty,

    Ano po dapat gawin in cases where there's a checkpoint in a dimly lit place and we're asked to pull over? Tapos sabhin baba kami or pabuksan trunk namin?

    Do we stay put, use our cellphone and call for help? Pano kung lalong mang-gulo yung mga pulis at tanungin sino tinatawagan namin?

    Kung bumaba naman kami at hulidap pala yun... patay naman kami :)
    Pag tumakbo naman kami... lalo naman kaming patay!

    So what's d best thing to do?
     

  3. zorkd

    zorkd

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    profiling.


    that's what it's all about. drive around in an anonymous type vehicle. you know the kind which every tom dick and harry in makati is driving around. those NRA stickers or PPSA might be cool but they just attract unwanted attention. yes we are proud of our gear, but this is one place where some discretion won't hurt.

    anonymity, gotten me scot free driving around and packing.
     
  4. KevlarSix

    KevlarSix Senior Member

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    Yup.. It would look more suspicious if all of you are guys in a car rather than with a gf or with your family. Dim your headlights and open your cabin lights. Be cooperative.
     
  5. jimbullet

    jimbullet

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    I think the question here, and is the same question in my mind is what if the checkpoint ahead of you really looks not right without most of the pre-requisites as itemized in this thread.

    Do you like swerve and put the pedal to the metal in the hope that they dont hit you with their rain of bullets behind you or do you like stop and if they ask you to go down your vehicle, you do so and if you get a chance, engage in a gunfight or ...I dunno, whats the best advise - call someone from the cellphone and if they get enraged by it and start to point their m16 at you, do you now like floor your vehicle while opening fire at them?

    This is a tough question to answer given the various factors but what would be the best thing to do?

    If it is indeed a hulidap, the moment they see you also have a weapon, chances are they will engage you and if you do not have a weapon to defend you, in most probability they will be able to execute their plan or worse kidnap na.
     
  6. attyjpl

    attyjpl Dark Justice

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    in my experience, a checkpoint in a DIMLY LIT place is highly suspicious so be alert. malamang hulidap nga yan.

    checkpoints are supposed to be placed in strategic areas. it's difficult to determine if the cops or soldiers are real or not so i cannot give you a sound advice. i guess you can trust your instincts.

    if you are flagged down, never get off from your vehicle. limited lang sa VISUAL SEARCH ang mga checkpoints, unless they "SEE" a firearm, deadly weapon, drugs or anything illegal inside the vehicle. this is what is called the PLAIN VIEW DOCTRINE. any illegal object that is "open" to the plain view or sight of the cops is liable for confiscation and you, being the operator of the vehicle, is likewise liable for charges as it is presumed that you are the owner of the thing confiscated.

    tama ka, call for help immediately. and of course, dont panic. keep eye contact at all times and remember the names of the cops/soldiers (if they have nameplates) or ask them. take a good look at them and remember their faces.
     
  7. attyjpl

    attyjpl Dark Justice

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    i agree. even the "PRO GUN" stickers is a nice magnet for unwanted attention. i know someone who was flagged down just because he has that sticker in his rear windshield. i used to have a CZ sticker in the upper right corner of my front windshield but got rid of it.

    instead of throwing away an expired IBP commemorative license plate, i placed it inside my dashboard. helps me from time to time :supergrin:
     
  8. mikey177

    mikey177 Remember

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    What if you are stopped at a legitimate checkpoint but the cops/soldiers politely insist on you opening your glove compartment or trunk, arguing that if you have nothing to hide then you wouldn't mind opening it for them? Can you politely refuse?
     
  9. attyjpl

    attyjpl Dark Justice

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    if the checkpoint looks legit at first glance (officers in uniform and badges, patrol cars, etc.), i think it's safe to stop rather than assume the opposite and make aggressive moves. paano kung legit nga? eh di lagot ka? mahirap basta-basta mag-assume. case to case basis talaga.

    but if you see an imminent threat to your lives, i think it's better to use deadly force. mabuti na sila ang patay kesa ikaw di ba? :cool:
     
  10. Poodle

    Poodle

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    Me violation ba ang mga pulis pag binira ako ng flashlight sa mukha? Merong pulis na nagtangkang silawin ako dati (pero di siya nagtagumpay dahil tig 50 pesos lang flashlight niya at mahina pa baterya). Puede kayang birahin ko din siya ng surefire ko pag nauna siya tapos sabihin ko na lang na "sorry"?

    Joke only.
     
  11. attyjpl

    attyjpl Dark Justice

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    yes you can. that is your right. as i have said, VISUAL SEARCH lang ang dapat nilang gawin. they should not open any compartment, look under floor matts, or touch anything. of course, if you have nothing to hide, why fear? :)
     
  12. attyjpl

    attyjpl Dark Justice

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    nangyari din sa akin yan, father. like what happened to you, pipichuging flashlight lang ang gamit nung kawawang pulis kaya hindi masyadong masakit sa mata. in your case, hindi mo na kelangang gumanti with your surefire. bunutan mo na lang ng malaking krus at wisikan mo ng holy water! :bump:
     
  13. Poodle

    Poodle

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    Oo nga. Sana di mapagkamalang 1911 yung malaking krus ni St. Benedict at barilin ako. Parang pistola ng misyonero kasi korte nun eh.
     
  14. PMMA97

    PMMA97 TagaBundok

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    Is it really a RIGHT to refuse or just a priviledge? Any specific law on this?
     
  15. attyjpl

    attyjpl Dark Justice

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    it is a right, not a privilege. the 1987 constitution provides:

    ARTICLE III
    BILL OF RIGHTS

    Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

    (2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.

    Section 12. (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.

    (2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited.

    (3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.

    aside from this, there are many decisions of the supreme court regarding checkpoints.
     
  16. PMMA97

    PMMA97 TagaBundok

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    Thank you for the prompt reply attyjpl. :)
     
  17. i_am_infinity

    i_am_infinity Pang Altar

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    attyjpl,

    sir pwede ba mahingi number nyo just in case po :supergrin: