Young lawyer gives important advice about police searches
News broke out about the inspections recently made by the Quezon City Police District in several establishments in Katipunan.
According to the QCPD, the inspections are part of the Philippine National Police’s Oplan Bakal, a campaign in which cops inspect establishments that sell liquors. But some question the legitimacy of such operations, especially if they involved personal searches.
Gil Anthony Aquino of Center Law gave some valuable advice to students who are approached by policemen to inspect their bags:
1. DO NOT PANIC. DO NOT BE CONFRONTATIONAL. Be calm and polite.
2. Kindly ask if they have a warrant. If not, tell them that you have a right against unreasonable searches and seizures (i.e. they cannot search you without a warrant). Politely excuse yourself.
3. If they insist, ask to be led to a well-lit and public place. Empty your bag yourself. Preferably, have a friend take a video of you doing it.
These days, it really pays to know your rights.