PNP human rights app: Miranda rights in different languages

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 04 2017 04:03 PM | Updated as of Dec 04 2017 04:11 PM

A policeman documents a self-confessed drug user who voluntarily surrendered to the police on their "Operation Tokhang (approach and talk)" in Pasig, September 15, 2016. Romeo Ranoco, Reuters

The Philippine National Police has launched the “Know Your Rights” mobile application for Android devices to equip every police officer with information on PNP Human Rights Advisories and Policies, including the contents of the new Miranda warning pocket card with anti-torture reminders. 

PNP Human Rights Affairs Office (PNP-HRAO) Director, Police Chief Superintendent Dennis Siervo said during the launch in Camp Crame that he will recommend to PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa the mandatory download of the app in the smartphones of all PNP personnel. 

Now police personnel, especially those out in the field will be able to read suspects their Miranda rights, including foreigners. 

Siervo said the human rights app aims to protect civilians and guide police officers in their operations. 

“Para rin sa mga sibilyan, to know their rights, not only to guide the PNP personnel on what they have to do and to inform those suspects who are arrested of their rights. They must ensure that they will be able to communicate and those arrested will understand their rights. Pag inaaresto kayo or ini-invite kayo for questioning, you will know what your rights are during custodial investigation, even invitation sa police station,” he explained. 

“Know Your Rights” mobile app also displays the Miranda rights in different Philippine dialects which can be read or played with corresponding audio for example in Hiligaynon, Ilokano or Cebuano. 

The app also contains Miranda rights in different languages including Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese. 

Should a foreign national be arrested, the police can play from their smartphones audible Miranda rights in their language for easy understanding. 

“Halimbawa, Korean, Japanese, hindi alam basahin ng miyembro ng PNP yon. So ang ginawa na lang namin, we have come up with an e-copy of it with corresponding audio translation,” Siervo said. 

“Merong mga major communities here eh, base rin doon sa mga arrested doon kami nagpo-focus. But we’ll be coming out soon with other languages depending doon sa nahuhuli na maraming nationals at major communities here." 

Siervo said they are providing police with this tool to do away with the technicalities and to prevent cases from being dismissed later on. 

“Pwede ng nasa phone nila to be sure that they will be able to recite those rights of the accused,” he said. 

“Know Your Rights” mobile app also has a “send feedback” feature where the public can file a compliant. 

Siervo said so far they have trained a total of 6,800 PNP personnel on human rights awareness, with 1,596 police trained this 2017. 

“Hindi lahat ng PNP personnel natin nakaka-avail ng training na ito ng human rights like for example yung sa mga far flung ares. These are some of the materials they need to download and to enhance their tools in law enforcement,” he said.