The Daily Manila Shimbun


PNP issues guidelines for cops in Mindanao  

May 25, 2017

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has issued guidelines for police personnel in Mindanao on conducting operations after President Rodrigo Duterte placed the area  under martial law in the aftermath of clashes between government security forces and rebels from the Maute group. Chief Inspector Jose Najera, PNP legal officer, said Thursday the role of the police would be just like "ordinary times". Najera said constitutional rights of a person are protected under the guidelines. "The basic constitutional rights enshrined in the Constitution is still operative," said Najera in a press briefing. Under the guidelines, police operatives are required to follow Republic Act 7438, or the Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained or under Custodial Investigation; and RA 9745, or the Anti-Torture Act of 2009. Najera explained warrantless arrest can only be initiated when a person has committed, actually committing or attempting to committing a crime. One crime which is could be the subject of a warrantless arrest is rebellion which is a continuing offense, said Najera. Arrested persons should be released after no charges have been filed after three days. Civilians, according to the guidelines, cannot be tried in military tribunals. "The declaration of martial law does not suspend the functioning of the civil courts and the legislative assemblies," a portion of the guidelines read. The declaration also does not impair the right of an individual to bail. If police personnel violated any provision of the guidelines, they could be held responsible, said Najera.  DMS