Respect civil rights, PNP chief tells cops

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - First Page - (Mindanao Examiner, with a report from Malou Cablinda)

POLICE Director General Ronald dela Rosa reminded cops to strictly observe operational procedures when conducting law enforcement operations, particularly when arresting criminal suspects during a state of emergency.

Dela Rosa, addressing the 160,000-strong police members, said as a general rule, all arrests should be made only on the basis of a valid warrant issued by a competent authority, except in instances where the law allows warrantless arrest.

Citing Rule 13 of the Revised Police Operational Procedures, he said the only conditions that allow law enforcement authorities to effect warrantless arrests are when the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, is attempting to commit an offense in front of arresting officers; when an offense has just been committed and the arresting officer has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested committed the offense.

And when the person to be arrested is a prisoner, who has escaped from a penal establishment where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending; and when the person arrested, or to be arrested, has voluntarily waived his right against warrantless arrest.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Dionardo Carlos also said the declaration of a state of lawlessness by President Rodrigo Duterte does not change the rules prescribed in the Revised Police Operational Procedures, or rules of engagement.

A memorandum order containing guidelines for the police and military under a state of lawlessness was also issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and it specifically emphasized that “no civil or political rights are suspended during the existence of a state of lawless violence.”

PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa

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