Now that the election season is in full swing, you will notice that more and more checkpoints are being set up in strategic areas in Metro Manila and provincial road boundaries. They began activating the checkpoints during the second week of January and we expect for these to remain until June 2019.
Here are some tips to help you manage these quick stops and avoid getting into a squabble with the authorities (you don’t want that, do you?):
- When you see a checkpoint up ahead, slow down before coming to a complete stop.
- At nighttime, dim the headlights of your vehicle as you approach the checkpoint.
- Switch on your cabin lights, especially if your windows are tinted.
- Roll down your windows so the police can check the occupants of the vehicle. You are not obliged to alight from the vehicle.
- Passengers of PUVs like jeepneys and buses cannot be forced by police authorities to step out of the vehicle.
- Likewise, police officers are not supposed to go through your personal items such as your bags and wallets. They should only implement visual inspection (plain view doctrine).
- Police are only allowed to point their flashlights at the car floor and the door panels during the inspection, and never directly at the faces of passengers.
- However, if the PNP receives reliable information that the occupant of the vehicle had committed a crime, they have the authority to do away with the checkpoint guidelines and implement inquest and arrest procedures.
- If you do not stop at a checkpoint, the police will chase you down until you are apprehended. So, stop.
- Motorcycle riders must always be ready with their licenses and bike registration papers.
For complaints, you may contact the PNP hotlines at (0915) 888-8181 and (0999) 901-8181.
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