Stopped at a checkpoint? Know your rights

Reynaldo Santos Jr

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Here are practical tips on how to avoid rights abuses at police and military checkpoints

MANILA, Philippines – With at least 1,634 election checkpoints set up across the country in the next 5 months, what are the odds that you would be stopped at a checkpoint? High.

In Resolution 9588, the Commission on Elections says the search and seizure procedures conducted at poll checkpoints should not violate the civil, political, and human rights of anyone being flagged.

The Comelec guidelines cite a person’s basic rights: to remain silent, to have an independent and competent lawyer, and to be released if no charges are filed against him within 18 hours. A search that goes beyond the standard visual search should be “authorized by a search warrant.”

There are more practical guidelines, however, from the justice department. In an advisory issued in 2011, it enumerated 10 things a motorist should do to ensure he is not subject to any abuse at a police or military checkpoint.

You may inform us of incidents of rights violations and other irregularities at Comelec checkpoints. Email your photos and video to and We are on Twitter @rapplerdotcom (use the hashtag #PHvote) and on Facebook: 

 You may download Rappler’s infographic on your mobile phone for your reference. You’ll never know when you’ll need it. – Rappler .com

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