Gun ban checkpoints installed-A A +A
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Checkpoints are now in place for the province in preparation for the election period and to assure the effectiveness of the imposed gun ban all over Benguet, a top official said.
“Checkpoints would be set up in Benguet to inspect vehicles and motorists who might be violating the election gun ban,” said newly-installed provincial top cop Rodolfo Azurin Jr.
The gun ban is being implemented to avoid poll-related violence for the May 13 election.
Azurin will call on top cops in each municipality to identify the location of each checkpoint.
“These locations may not be announced since the criminals might avoid the checkpoints,” he said.
Azurin clarified police cannot force motorists to open his vehicle’s trunk for the inspection but requested the cooperation of the residents and motorists to let the police check their vehicles for their own safety.
Azurin said there is no report of anyone violating the gun ban in Benguet. “Gaya nga ng sabi ni Governor (Fongwan), hindi pa naiimplement yung gun ban, ban na ang gun dito.”
A Comelec checkpoint must be made only by members of the unit designated to man the same. It should be done in a manner, which will impose minimum of inconvenience upon the person or persons so searched, to the end that civil, political and human rights of the person are not violated.
As a rule, a valid search must be authorized by a search warrant duly issued by an appropriate authority. However, a warrantless search can be made in the following cases: moving vehicles and the seizure of evidence in plain view; as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupant/s subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is merely limited to a visual search; when the occupant(s) of the vehicle appear to be nervous or suspicious or exhibit unnatural reaction; if the officer conducting the search has reasonable or probable cause to believe that either the occupant is a law offender or that the instrumentality or evidence pertaining to the commission of a crime can be found in the vehicle to be searched; and on the basis of prior confidential information which are reasonably corroborated by other attendant matters. (With Melissa Mae Tamayo)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 16, 2013.