MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday released the guidelines for the implementation of Proclamation 55 that indefinitely placed the Philippines under a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence.
The three-page document provides guidelines for members of the Armed Forces of the Phillipines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in implementing measures to curb lawless violence.
Under Proclamation 55, the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) are tasked to send more troops to Mindanao to prevent acts of terrorism, as well as to prevent these terror acts to spread to other parts of the country.
Both agencies are also asked to beef up security in major streets and thoroughfares, as well as in crowded areas such as malls and train stations.
The AFP and the PNP are also ordered to intensify their intelligence operations to detect individuals or groups responsible for lawless violence in the country.
The Department of Justice (DOJ), on the other hand, is tasked to closely coordinate with the PNP and other law-enforcement agencies for prompt investigation and prosecution of individuals and groups involved in crimes and lawless violence.
All local government units are also asked to fully support and cooperate with law-enforcement agencies to ensure the effective implementation of the guidelines.
It is stated in the document that "no civil or political rights are suspended during the existence of a state of lawless violence."
The constitutional rights of every individual should also be respected by both AFP and PNP.
No warrantless arrests will be implemented unless, (1) the person to be arrested is caught in the act of committing a crime; (2) when the arresting officer has personal knowledge of the facts of the crime, indicating that the person to be arrested has committed the crime; (3) when the person to be arrested has escaped from a jail or detention facility; and (4) when the person arrested or to be arrested has voluntarily waived his right against warrantless arrest.
All existing rules and jurisprudence shall be stricly observed during warrantless searches and seizures.
No intrusive actions should be taken, such as the opening of vehicle trunks and lids, or asking persons on board a vehicle to step out, during security checks at police and military checkpoints.
The document also stated that all AFP and PNP personnel who violated any constitutional rights will be held liable.
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