Lawmen asked: Maintain courtesy at checkpoints
(The Freeman) - January 8, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – As the election period, as well as the gun ban, starts tonight, the Commission on Elections-Cebu has reminded law enforcement officers to maintain utmost courtesy in the conduct of election checkpoints.

It is because when the clock strikes 12:01 tonight, all gun holders, even the licensed, are prohibited to bring their firearms outside their residence because the police would start implementing the gun ban for the election period.

Senior Superintendent Rey Lyndon Lawas, chief of the Police Regional Office-7 Regional Directorial Staff, said even those who have permits to carry firearms outside the residence, mission order or patrol order, will still be affected by the ban.

He said security agencies, which need firearms due to the nature of its business, should secure an exemption permit from the Commission on Elections.

Lawas said they are currently preparing for the conduct of a series of checkpoints as the Philippine National Police is now on heightened alert.

Today, PRO-7 and COMELEC will have a coordinating conference to discuss security preparations, including the conduct of checkpoints, for the upcoming elections.

“There will be simultaneous launching or conduct of checkpoints to dramatize our implementation of gun ban,” said Lawas.

He said that as early as now, the public should expect a series of checkpoints in the streets at any time of the day.

Because of this, he appealed for understanding whenever they cause delay in the traffic flow, saying they set up checkpoints for the general welfare of the public.

“While we try to find ways and means on how we can reduce possible (traffic) delay, we would like to secure your understanding and cooperation,” he said.

On the other hand, Lawas said they will order policemen conducting checkpoints to show courtesy to the public whenever they approach them so that misunderstandings would be prevented.

“Mao sad na among ibilin sa ilaha. Good manners in conducting the checkpoint,” he said.

Lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, Comelec-Cebu election supervisor, made the same appeal to the police, saying law enforcers should act in a manner that would not impinge on the convenience of the public.

“They (police) should be courteous sa pagpara. They may ask two or few questions lang,” he told reporters.

He also reminded that checkpoints are limited to visual search only, unless the police officers have reason for suspicion.

“Kay naa man gyoy uban nga unnatural ang reaction, very suspicious, or maybe ang police naay prior confidential information,” he said.

The election period for the May 9, 2016 elections will run until June 8. Within this period, bearing, carrying, or transporting firearms or deadly weapons, unless authorized in writing by the poll body, are prohibited.

Only regular members of the PNP, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other law enforcement agencies deputized to perform election duties are automatically authorized to carry and possess firearms during the election period.  — Michael Vencynth H. Braga, Ma. Fatima R. Secuya/RHM (FREEMAN)

 

 

 

ACIRC ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES CHECKPOINTS ELECTION FATIMA R LAWAS LAWYER LIONEL MARCO CASTILLANO MICHAEL VENCYNTH H PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE POLICE POLICE REGIONAL OFFICE
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