Proper Police Conduct at Checkpoints

We welcome the announcement by the cebu city police force compelling their personnel to abide by proper conduct on checkpoints. It is a bit late, but nonetheless better than never complying with the rule of law at all.

For years, we have been batting for the strict compliance by government personnel on rule on checkpoints. We have been reminding them to stick by its governing principle limiting searches at checkpoints to only cursory and ocular. In actuality however, government agents subject victims to bodily searches and other indignities, making them disembark from vehicles, and coercing them to open compartments of vehicles.

For years, checkpoints have resembled a riotous gangland of various law-enforcement agents in pursuit of obscure criminalities they only are aware of. With pistol and badge, agents could easily set up their own little checkpoint with a cardboard signage. And with those, they could virtually rule as despots accosting and frisking anybody they would tag as suspicious.

All that would be a thing of the past as Cebu City Intelligence Chief Romeo Santander assures that guideline has already been sent out to their units. It would be more reassuring though if such guideline is complimented with reforms in mindset and reorientation of goals to people-based social renewal.

Until then, we would be closely watching.

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