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Sen. Bam seeks probe on PNP illegal searches across Ateneo campus

A senator wants to investigate the reported illegal searches in various establishments in Katipunan, Quezon City, and other police operations that are impeding the rights and welfare of citizens.

Sen. Bam Aquino filed Senate Resolution No. 503 after reports surfaced that police officers conducted surprise inspections of bars along Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, on September 13 and randomly inspected the bags of the customers inside the establishments without search warrants.

“The unannounced inspection of establishment and bag searches by police in Katipunan last September 13 is a clear violation of Article III of the 1987 Constitution that protects citizens from warrantless and unreasonable searches of property,” said Sen. Bam.

“Pagkatapos ihayag ng Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion ang kanilang paninindigan kontra sa EJKs noong half time ng UAAP basketball game, biglang nagkaroon ng mga search sa tapat ng Ateneo Campus. Pananakot at intimidasyon ba ang kanilang motibo?” asked the Senator.

Contrary to claim of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), the lawmaker stressed that owners of the inspected establishments said there was no prior coordination between them and the police. Also, the restaurant owners in Katipunan said they don’t have an association that would give the police permission to conduct the operation.

Before this incident, the QCPD was also reported to be conducting house-to-house visits and roving drug testing in urban poor communities.

“While police claimed that citizen participation is voluntary, they may feel forced to comply out of fear for their own protection and safety,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam said the resolution aims to assess the current campaigns, strategies and practices of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as part of its campaign against illegal drugs.

“We must ensure that these moves won’t lead to the weakening of the rule of law and promote a culture of impunity and abuse among law enforcers,” said Sen. Bam, adding that the rights and welfare of our citizens, especially the youth that the State, must be protected at all times. (SENATE)

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