By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
I will be writing next week in this paper why the formula of Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil (2nd District, Pangasinan), a former police two-star general, on seizing the corpus delicti (body of the crime) and apprehending the bad guys through check points has more sense than the ineffective “Plain View” doctrine ordered by the Commission on Election for police officials to follow.
The announcement of the Comelec that are meekly followed by our submissive policemen (whose assignment and reassignment if they ain’t toe the line are under the mercy of the election body till June 12 this year) that they can search and seize only through visual search is seen by criminals (i.e riders in tandem, bank robbers, vote buyers, others) as a big joke that has to be exploited at the helm.
Susmariosep, the bad guys can just hide their long and short firearms and other illegal stuffs under their car seat or trunk because Comelec told the police that even “Consented Warrantless Search” (one of the examples of warrantless search that include warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest, search of a moving vehicle, custom search or seizure of goods concealed to avoid duties, stop and frisk, and exigent and emergency circumstances ) should not be resorted by the police so they could not be accused of harassment by the motorist, commuters and even followers of a particular political group.
“Sui Generis (of its own kind) pala itong election. Pang election lang ito. Pagkatapos puedi na uling gawin ng pulis iyong mga exceptions sa warranted search?” I posed to lawyer Marino Salas, supervisor of Comelec-Pangasinan, after the press conference he and PNP Senior Superintendent Jonathan Miano, Deputy Regional Director for Operations, and Pangasinan Provincial Superintendent Marlou Chan called recently in Dagupan City.
He agreed with the Sui Generis thing.
“Pero parang mali!” I told myself.
Does this order by the Comelec supersede the jurisprudence's De Garcia v. Locsin and People V. Agbot on Consented Warrantless Search and Hizon V. Court of Appeals and People V. Malmstedt on Moving Vehicles decided by the Supreme Court?
Son of a gun, what happened now to the dictum Dura Lex Sed Lex (The law is harsh, but it is the law)?
Besides, asserting warrantless search through consent, moving vehicles, stop and frisk could deter the proliferation of crimes.
With the plain view doctrine that tied the hands of the police, expect more assassination to come despite the ubiquity of the check points all over the places.
This doctrine being solely, I repeat, solely, implemented by the good guys at the check points is not only a joke, it’s inutile.
(You can read my selected columns athttp://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at firstname.lastname@example.org).