Senator Tulfo files bill to regulate police checkpoints

Senator Raffy Tulfo files Senate Bill No 1977 or the Checkpoint Regularization Act last March 14, seeking to regulate police checkpoints and stop discriminatory practices, especially for motorcycle riders.

In the statement released, Tulfo noted some malpractices of the police or checkpoint personnel in checking vehicles, especially the motorbike drivers which he said are discriminatory, like asking for license and registration, inspecting their compartments and even body searching without explaining the reason for the checkpoint.

And while motorbike drivers are scanned and searched, four-wheeled vehicles could pass the checkpoints easily.

Some of the guidelines of SB No 1877 are as follows:
1.“The conduct of inspection of all vehicles, including motorcycles, during a routine checkpoint is limited to a visual search, occupants are not subjected to a physical or body search, and therefore must be done with due respect to the innocent passers-by, commuters, or bystanders, and must be conducted in a manner with the least inconvenience to the public.”
2. Police officers manning checkpoints can only demand to see the motor vehicle operator’s license and registration only if they observe any traffic violation such as damaged light, lack of plate number, and failure to wear helmets for riders.
3. The only time police officers can proceed to implement the “stop and frisk” procedure is when they have reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed immediately before or at the checkpoint.
4.“Due courtesy must be accorded to motorists, traders, and commuters during the conduct of the checkpoint.
5. “Police personnel assigned to the checkpoint shall not mulct, extort, or harass drivers, passengers, and traders.
6. Any violation of the provisions of this Act shall be punished with the corresponding penalty prescribed by the Revised Penal code in addition to any administrative sanction that may be prescribed by the Revised Penal Code, including any administrative sanction that may be prescribed by law.

Meanwhile, PNP spokesperson Col Jean Fajardo acknowledges that they understand that there are instances where riders are getting inconvenienced with checkpoints but they want to appeal to everyone that the PNP is not doing this to disturb motorists but to ensure the safety of everyone