Unwarranted stop and search - Weekend

Unwarranted stop and search

Jerome NeriAtty. Jerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

THEY are at it again. A friend of mine was pulled over by the Anti-Carnapping Group (Ancar), formerly called the Highway Patrol Group (HPG). He was pulled over because they wanted to check his car’s registration papers. It was only until they uploaded his plate number details to their tablet that they cleared him.

The problem with this is that stopping someone for a “fishing expedition” is a violation of our rights under the Constitution. Ancar did not have to do that, as they could read his plate number and upload it to check if there was something fishy.

What they have been doing treats an ordinary citizen like a criminal. In order for Ancar to do a stop and search, they must be armed with a search warrant describing the thing to be searched and seized, as provided for in Art. 3, Sec. 2 of the Philippine Constitution.

It is time for us, motorists, to fight back. If we are stopped, we should refuse to be searched unless they can show a warrant. If they insist, call your lawyer. If they do not give you a choice, take a video of them showing that you are refusing, and that the search is being done without your consent.

HELMET BAN. In most parts of the country, motorcycle riders are required to wear helmets for safety reasons. But not in Dagupan City, where an ordinance was recently passed banning the use of helmets and other objects that cover the face. City Officials contend that the ordinance aims to minimize crimes done by motorcycle-riding individuals. (SUN.STAR FILE PHOTO)
HELMET BAN. In most parts of the country, motorcycle riders are required to wear helmets for safety reasons. But not in Dagupan City, where an ordinance was recently passed banning the use of helmets and other objects that cover the face. City Officials contend that the ordinance aims to minimize crimes done by motorcycle-riding individuals. (SUN.STAR FILE PHOTO)

Funny how the HPG changed its name to Ancar and briefly stopped harassing Cebuano motorists after some of its officers became the main suspects in the cold-blooded murder of Atty. Noel Archival, a lawyer who was handling cases against the previous HPG enforcers, exposing their corrupt and criminal practices.

HPG’s former officers are suspected criminals but I wonder, what are the chances that the new ones are here to serve and protect the motoring public in general?

SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT. Land Transportation Office (LTO) enforcers have also been doing operations around the city.

I heard they are apprehending those who they can see not wearing seat belts, and vehicles that are unregistered and with unauthorized plate numbers. While it seems to be a good thing, what I don’t get is that public utility jeeps (PUJ) that itself are violations, are waived through.

LTO can spot a missing 1.5 inch sticker on the plate number, but they are completely blind to a PUJ that has a number of people hanging at the back, and covering its plate number. There is selective enforcement in the law. I wonder why?

PRICEY. LTO also said it has set aside a budget of 23.4 million for the purchase of 150 units of equipment in order to determine whether a driver is intoxicated beyond the limits of the law, as stated in the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Law.

In short, they are going to buy alcohol breathalyzer testers. These testers have been so common lately that they cost less than P1,000 each. In fact, I have purchased a few over eBay and it cost me around P800. Since these testers are so cheap now, why is the budget for acquiring it is 23.4 million when all the government needs is P150,000?

ABSURD. Nowadays many criminals use motorcycles to commit crimes. As a result, some cities have passed ordinances in an effort to minimize such crimes. Here are the very stupid ordinances passed by some.

Dagupan City has passed an ordinance banning the use of helmets and anything that covers the face of a motorcycle rider. The City contends that speeds are slow within the city and so it is safe to run a motorcycle without a helmet.

I challenge all of the City Officials of Dagupan to hit their heads on a cement wall at 20 kph so that they can prove that no serious injury can happen at that speed.

Mandaluyong City has mandated that only the spouse or a relative up to the first-degree cousin of the motorcycle rider is allowed to back-ride. I guess motorcyclists and their back-riders, who go through the streets of Mandaluyong, have to bring birth certificates with them to prove filiation.

In Quezon City, a rider and his passenger must wear vests that bear the plate number of the motorcycle. The city wants to identify the motorcycle, when criminals will obviously use motorcycles that cannot be traced back to them.

These ordinances only show that what our country badly needs is a Department of Common Sense.

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