PNP issues refresher on martial law do’s and don’ts
Members of the police force have been reminded to strictly follow operational procedures and respect the human rights and dignity of citizens in the wake of the declaration of martial rule in the whole of Mindanao.
This was after President Rodrigo Duterte placed all of Mindanao’s 27 provinces and 33 cities under martial law following armed clashes between government forces and Maute bandits, who pledged allegiance to the international terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS).
Martial law will be in effect for 60 days but President Duterte said he might consider extending it for a year and expanding its coverage to the Visayas, and even Luzon.
The President also suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao, which would allow the police to arrest people without warrants.
Duterte said earlier that martial law in Mindanao under his administration would be as harsh as the martial rule under the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, which was marred by human rights abuses, torture and state-sponsored killings.
To ensure that no abuses will happen this time, the Philippine National Police (PNP) issued guidelines to its units in Mindanao in implementing martial law.
Don’ts in martial law
- The police and military personnel cannot effect warrantless arrests outside the circumstances provided under section 5, rule 113 of the Rules of Court.
- No arrested or detained person should be charged beyond the period of three days. After the lapse of three-day period the detained/arrested person shall be released.
- Civilians cannot be tried in military tribunals. The declaration of martial law does not suspend the functioning of the civil courts and the legislative assemblies.
- No violations of constitutional rights of a person. The constitutional guarantees under the bill of rights remain to be operative and continue to accord the people of its mandate of protection.
- No violations of the basic rights of the people.
- The declaration does not impair the right to bail.
- Implementation cannot be extended for more than 60 days unless extended by Congress upon the initiative of the president.
Do’s in martial law
- All PNP personnel shall at all time respect the human rights and dignity of the suspect.
- Shall strictly observe the Police Operational Procedure (POP).
- Shall stringently follow the provisions of Republic Act no. 7438 or the act defining the rights of persons arrested, detained or under custodial investigation.
- Shall strictly obey the provisions of Republic Act no. 9745 or the “Anti-torture act of 2009.”
Earlier in a press briefing at Camp Crame, the PNP Legal Service maintained that the PNP will not tolerate abuses by government forces while martial rule is in effect.
“The 1935 and the 1987 Constitutions are totally different from each other. The 1935 Constitution does not have established safeguards unlike in the 1987 Constitution,” Chief Insp. Jose Najera of the PNP’s legal unit, said. JPV/rga
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