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 Guidelines On Comelec Checkpoints - Res. No. 7763

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PostSubject: Guidelines On Comelec Checkpoints - Res. No. 7763   Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:49 am

Republic of the Philippines
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
Manila

GUIDELINES ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COMELEC CHECKPOINTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE 14 MAY 2007 NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTIONS
x-----------------------------------------------x
Chairman Benjamin S. Abalos, Sr.
Commissioner Resurreccion Z. Borra
Commissioner Florentino A. Tuason, Jr.
Commissioner Romeo A. Brawner
Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento
Commissioner Nicodemo T. Ferrer

Promulgated: 28 November 2006

RESOLUTION NO. 7763

Whereas, to effectively implement the firearms ban during the election period, it is necessary to establish COMELEC checkpoints;

WHEREAS, there is a need to ensure that in the implementation of the proper search procedures and seizure at the COMELEC checkpoints, civil, political and human rights are not violated.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Commission on Elections, pursuant to the powers vested in it by the Constitution, Omnibus Election Code and other election laws, RESOLVED to promulgate, as it hereby promulgates, the following guidelines:

SECTION 1. Comelec checkpoint. – There shall be at least one (1) COMELEC checkpoint in each city/municipality to be manned by the Philippine National Police (PNP). Additional checkpoints may be established at the discretion of the highest ranking official of the PNP in the city or municipality. In areas jointly identified by the COMELEC and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to be under “serious armed threat”, additional checkpoints may be established at the discretion of the highest ranking official of the AFP.

SEC. 2. Checkpoint location. – The officials mentioned in the immediately preceding section, shall, in consultation with the city/ municipality election officer (EO), establish checkpoints in their respective
areas of jurisdiction only in places which are well lighted. In areas where electric light is not available, artificial lighting shall be provided for the purpose.

SEC. 3. Checkpoint signboard. – Each COMELEC checkpoint shall have a signboard, measuring three feet by four feet (3’X4’), to clearly identify the place as a COMELEC checkpoint from a reasonable distance. The following shall be printed/painted on both sides in bold red letters on a white background;

S T O P
COMELEC CHECKPOINT
Please bear with us.
Thank you for your cooperation.
______________________________
Name and Address of Election Officer
___________________________________
Name of Commanding Officer/Team Leader

SEC. 4. Notice of the location of checkpoints. – The commanding officer/team leader of the checkpoint must give notice to the EO, as well as non-government organizations and other civic organizations about the establishment and location of COMELEC checkpoints in the locality.

SEC. 5. Spot checkpoint. – When the circumstances so warrant, spot checkpoint may be established in locations other than those mentioned in the preceding section. Spot checkpoints shall be established only in places which are well-lighted. Where electric light is not available, artificial lighting shall be provided. Before establishing such checkpoints, the commanding officer/team leader shall give notice to the EO.

SEC. 6. Personnel to man checkpoint. – Any unit designated to man a Comelec checkpoint must be led by a responsible regular member of the AFP/PNP.
AFP and PNP personnel manning the checkpoints must be in complete uniform and shall not be under the influence of liquor/drug. Any violation hereof shall make the offender and his commanding officer jointly liable for administrative/criminal action.

SEC. 7. Briefing by the commanding officer/team leader. – A briefing must be given by the commanding officer/team leader to all members of the unit designated to man the checkpoints, with emphasis on the proper manner of searching.

SEC. 8. Searches at COMELEC checkpoint. – Any search at a COMELEC checkpoint must be made only by members of the unit designated to man the same. It should be done in a manner with minimum inconvenience on the person so searched, to the end that his civil, political and human rights are respected.

As a rule, no search can be conducted without a search warrant duly issued by an appropriate authority. However, a warrantless search can be made in the following cases:

(a) moving vehicles and the seizure of evidence found in plain view;
(b) 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;
(c) when the occupant(s) of the vehicle appear to be nervous or suspicious or exhibit unnatural reaction;
(d) if the officer conducting the search has reasonable or probable cause to believe that either the occupant(s) 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
(e) on the basis of prior confidential information which are reasonably corroborated by other attendant matters.

SEC. 9. Rights of person arrested. – Any person arrested at a COMELEC checkpoint must be treated humanely and with utmost respect for his constitutional rights. He must be informed of the following rights:

a) to remain silent, which cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel;
b) to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice, and if he cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one, which right cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel;
c) to be released from detention if no charges have been filed against him within eighteen (1Cool hours from the arrest, unless he is charged under P. D. 1866, as amended.

SEC. 10. Record of arrest. - Any arrest made at a COMELEC checkpoint shall be immediately and chronologically recorded in a logbook for the purpose, stating the circumstances of the arrest and other particulars about the person and confiscated weapons, ammunitions and materials.
The arresting officer shall execute an affidavit of arrest stating clearly and distinctly the facts and circumstances surrounding the arrest.

SEC. 11. Report and turn-over of arrested person. – Any person arrested at a COMELEC checkpoint including the confiscated weapon, ammunition, and material, must be turned over to the nearest law enforcement station or office together with the corresponding affidavit/s of arrest for proper action. The chief of police/detachment commander concerned shall conduct a preliminary examination and submit the result thereof to the provincial/city prosecutor for preliminary investigation, copy furnished the Law Department, EO, and their respective operation centers.

SEC. 12. Report of the Law Department. – The Law Department shall submit to the COMELEC en banc a progress report stating the particulars of all arrests made during the election period.

SEC. 13. Effectivity. - This Resolution shall take effect on the seventh day after its publication in two (2) daily newspapers of general circulation.

SEC. 14. Dissemination. – The Education and Information Department shall cause the publication of this Resolution in two (2) newspapers of general circulation and shall furnish the Chief of Staff, AFP; the PNP Director General, the Regional Election Directors, Provincial Election Supervisors and Election Officers, copies hereof.

SO ORDERED.

(Sgd.) BENJAMIN S. ABALOS
Chairman

(Sgd.) RESURRECCION Z. BORRA (Sgd.) FLORENTINO A. TUASON, JR.
Commissioner Commissioner

(Sgd.) ROMEO A. BRAWNER (Sgd.) RENE V. SARMIENTO
Commissioner Commissioner

(Sgd.) NICODEMO T. FERRER
Commissioner
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