PNP crafts policy guidelines for martial law in Mindanao

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(File photo)

(CNN Philippines, May 25) — The police will uphold human rights and dignity of each individual in its proposed policy guidelines to carry out martial law in Mindanao.

Chief Inspector Jose Najera of PNP-Legal Service assures the public there won't be any abuses by the police.

"Nandun pa rin constitutional safeguards under the bill of rights tapos wala pa ring nagbago sa rules natin. Wala kaming special instructions regarding dun sa conduct ng search, conduct ng seizures wala po," he said.

[Translation: The constitutional safeguards under the bill of rights are still included and nothing in our rules have changed. We do not have any special instructions regarding the conduct of search and conduct of seizures.]

The guidelines also state that the police should respect the rights of the accused under investigation, obey the anti-torture law, and require all authorities to execute affidavits of arrest.

"To ensure that the rights of all persons inc suspects, detainees are respected all times. And to fully adhere to the principles and standards on the absolute condemnation and prohibition of torture set by the 1987 Constitution," Najera said.

What, then, is not allowed?

All PNP personnel shall not conduct warrantless arrests unless the subject is caught in the act of the crime, there is probable cause to believe that a person committed a crime, or if person is a prisoner who escaped detention.

Police cannot continue to detain an arrested person if there is no case filed three days after the arrest, while civilians should not undergo trial in military tribunals.

"The declaration of martial law does not suspend the function of civil courts," Najera said.

The Department of National Defense also issued a memorandum to guide and remind the military that martial law in Mindanao does not suspend the Constitution. It points out rule of law and human rights should prevail.

READ: DND issues guidance on declaration of martial law in Mindanao