What cops can and cannot do at a checkpoint

By Niña Corpuz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 10 2013 11:30 PM | Updated as of Jan 11 2013 07:33 AM

MANILA - The bloody encounter in Atimonan, Quezon last Sunday has raised concerns among motorists about passing through checkpoints.

The election gun ban will officially start on January 13, which means there will be even more checkpoints set up throughout the country.

But the Philippine National Police (PNP) says the public should not be concerned. The PNP says they have clear guidelines on the conduct of checkpoints.

For one, motorists should be able to see the checkpoint from afar.

Police officers should be in their uniform and not in camouflage or combat attire.

The checkpoints should not be located in dark areas, and authorities cannot force passengers to get off the vehicle, open the glove compartment or the trunk.

Atty. Rowena Morales of the UP College of Law says the police can only talk to the motorist. Even his flashlight cannot go over the car window.

Even when there are suspicious objects inside the vehicle, policemen will need to secure a search warrant first.

Motorists are encouraged to report abuses possibly committed by authorities.

The public can take a video of the supposed abuse during inspection and call the PNP hotline 117 or text 0917-847-5757.