WITH two months to go before the start of gunban for 2019 mid-term elections, Philippine National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday said that more police checkpoints have been put up in Metro Manila and other parts of the country as part of their measures to prevent the flow of unauthorized firearms and other deadly weapons that could be used to sow violence during the polling period.
Police will strictly enforce the nationwide gun ban starting January next year with the National Capital Region Police Office and the 16 other police regional offices under instruction to field more uniformed policemen to conduct gun and weapon checks in designated checkpoint areas in the metropolis.
However, Gen. Albayalde said these checkpoints are being manned by officers trained to ensure that the protection of human rights of all motorists will remain their priority. The PNP chief also said that he has ordered the deployment of more officer-led PNP checkpoints nationwide including in Metro Manila, all manned by policemen in uniform and must always have an official PNP vehicle to prevent the possibility of a ‘bantay-salakay’ involving some rogues in blue.
He also said that officers manning the checkpoints have been thoroughly lectured on the Police Operational Procedures (POP) approved by the PNP leadership in collaboration with the Commission on Human Rights to underscore a very vital function and purpose of law enforcement-which is to protect human rights.
The PNP-POP states that the checkpoint must be led by an officer with the rank of at least Police Inspector; must have officially marked vehicles with blinkers turned on; must be manned by policemen wearing the prescribed PNP uniform and must have a presentable appearance; and must be placed in well and properly-lit areas with a noticeable signage bearing the name of the PNP unit visible displayed in the checkpoint site to prevent any apprehension from the public of the existence of the same.
Police checkpoints particularly in Metro Manila have been credited for a massive reduction in robbery incidents over the past two years.
The PNP earlier cautioned the public against chain messages circulating in social media and internet-based messaging groups warning of purported irregular vehicle stops and checkpoints by alleged policemen for purpose of extortion.