'Checkpoint inspections limited to plain view'
MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said law enforcers are not allowed to compel passengers of public utility vehicles to alight when they are being inspected at a checkpoint.
Brillantes was reacting to a media report that passengers of a provincial bus were ordered to disembark when it passed by a Comelec checkpoint for inspection.
Brillantes reiterated that inspections should just be plain view. This also means law enforcers cannot even compel the opening of compartments in vehicles, including motorcycles.
"Nakita ko iyon. Di dapat pinababa…Wala namang violation. As we move on, we will issue corrections…Sa kotse, dapat plain view eh. Di rin pwede pabuksan compartment. Pag heavily tinted, pwede pabuksan."
Checkpoints were set up nationwide over the weekend as the gun ban took effect with the start of the 120-day election period on January 12, 2013.
Brillantes is now monitoring the implementation of the gun ban. "Nag-aantay pa ako ng field reports…kung sinusunod basic requirements."
He reiterated that checkpoints should be manned 24 hours by uniformed personnel, whose names are visibly posted at the checkpoint.
He also clarified that in Metro Manila, the set up of checkpoints will be at the discretion of law enforcers. This was Brillantes' response when informed that police only set up checkpoints at night.
While crime can happen during daytime, the “general rule then [should be] the discretion of police and military."
Brillantes also instructed election officers nationwide to do random checks on the management of checkpoints.