3 killed in 24-hour election checkpoint operations – PNP
MANILA, Philippines – Three motorists were killed by the police in the 24-hour operation of election checkpoints across the country, Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr., spokesperson of the Philippine National Police (PNP) told Radyo Inquirer on Monday.
The circumstances on the death of the three motorists are still unavailable as of this posting.
The checkpoints were launched on Sunday midnight, January 13, in time for the beginning of the election period to intercept guns, explosives, and other weapons that could be used in crimes as the election season heats up.
As of Monday midnight, the police have confiscated in 4,447 checkpoints 27 firearms, 168 rounds of ammunition, seven bladed weapons, 22 gun replicas, 70 sachets of suspected shabu (crystal meth), and two glass pipes of marijuana, PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said in a press conference.
The police have also arrested 25 motorists, he said.
“The first day of the election period may be considered generally peaceful yet it depicts that violent incidents may still occur due to the number of confiscated or seized firearms,” Albayalde said.
Meanwhile, Durana reminded police officers to observe protocols in conducting checkpoints.
Durana said the checkpoints should only be conducted in well-lit areas, have proper signages, and led by a commissioned police officer.
The name and contact number of the local election officer should also be posted in the checkpoints.
Motorists may report any untoward incident in the checkpoints to the election officer in the area, he said.
According to Durana, the police should also only conduct a ‘visual search’ of the vehicles.
“Walang mangyayaring physical search sa pagko-conduct ng checkpoint. ‘Yung mga motorista sa checkpoint, they should not be asked to alight their vehicle,” he also said.
(No physical search should happen in conducting checkpoint. The motorist in the checkpoint should not be asked to alight their vehicle.)
“Hindi pwedeng bumaba and they can refuse pag sinabing sila ang magbubukas ng trunk. Hindi po pwede po ‘yun. Plain view [lang dapat],” he added.
(They should not alight the vehicle and they can refuse if they are told to open the trunk of their vehicles. It is not allowed. It should only be plain view.)
Durana said motorists may also take videos when asked to stop in checkpoints to ensure accountability of the police.
Some police officers, meanwhile, also carry cameras to protect themselves from possible counter-charges from motorists, he said./gsg
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