Regulated police checkpoints pressed for motorbike riders’ sake
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Raffy Tulfo is seeking the regulation of police checkpoints in a bid to end discrimination against motorcycle riders.
In a statement on Thursday, Tulfo lamented that police officers often stop motorcycle riders at makeshift police checkpoints to inspect their compartments, check several documents, and even subject them to body search. In some cases, contraband would be even be planted as evidence.
In contrast, four-wheeled vehicles are usually permitted to freely pass through checkpoints, Tulfo said.
To address the issue, Tulfo filed Senate Bill No. 1977 or An Act Regulating the Establishment of Checkpoints in Conjunction with Ongoing Police Operations.
“The installation and maintenance of checkpoints due to the presence of a clear and present danger due to national security and public safety have resulted in serious violations from irresponsible and abusive checkpoint personnel,” the measure’s explanatory note read.
“More often than not, motorcycles are also the ones stopped at checkpoints, these include food delivery riders and couriers,” it added.
Under the bill, guidelines for checkpoints must be uniformly implemented for all motor vehicles.
One of the guidelines is the conduct of a routine checkpoint through visual inspection only.
The police cannot ask drivers to alight their vehicles, inspect it, or subject them to a body search without their permission.
Police personnel assigned in checkpoints, Tulfo said, may only order the presentation of the motor vehicle operator’s license and registration if they are flagged for any traffic violation.
Should police officers have “reasonable suspicion” that a crime has been committed before, during, or at the checkpoint, they can carry on with the “stop and frisk” procedure.
In cases where checkpoint procedures result in the death of an individual, reclusion perpetua must be imposed on the perpetrator, the bill stated. Other criminal offenses will be penalized accordingly.
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