What police should do when arresting someone

Read more: Jonathan de Santos. July 10, 2016 - 2:17pm. The rights of those accused of doing wrong. Philstar.com. www.philstar.com/other-sections/news-feature/2016/07/10/1601427/rights-those-accused-doing-wrong.

According to the police manual, PNP personnel can generally effect arrests any day of the week and any time of day or night. Arrests generally have to be based on warrants signed by a judge unless a person is seen committing a crime or attempting to commit a crime. Police officers can also arrest a person without warrant "when an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe, based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances, that the person to be arrested has committed it."

When making an arrest, police officers have to verify that the warrant is valid and must request the court for a copy of the warrant. PNP personnel must also introduce themselves and provide identification when serving a warrant. They are also required to inform the person being arrested the reason that an arrest is being made.

Once an arrest is made, PNP personnel must "secure the person to be arrested and use handcuffs for the protection of the arresting officer, other individuals or the arrested person himself." They can use other methods of restraint if handcuffs are not available, but are prohibited from using "torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will," according to the "Know Your Rights" handbook.

Arresting officers are also required to inform suspects of the following rights:
  1. The right to remain silent and to be informed that statements made can be used in court;
  2. The right to counsel of the suspect's choice and the right to be provided counsel if the suspect cannot afford to hire a lawyer; and
  3. The right to communicate with a lawyer or with immediate family.
It is the arresting officer's responsibility to make sure that these rights are read to a suspect and that suspects understand their rights.While in custody, suspects can give sworn statements but these must be made in writing. PNP personnel must also make sure that the sworn statement has been explained to the suspect before it is signed.

Sworn statements must be signed in the presence of counsel, or if a lawyer is not available, "in the presence of any of the parents, elder brothers and sisters, his spouse, the municipal mayor, the municipal judge, district school supervisor, priest, imam or religious minister chosen by him."

Without those factors, extrajudicial confessions and sworn statements are inadmissible in court, the PNP procedural manual says.

"After interrogation, the person under custodial investigation shall have the right to be informed of his right to demand physical examination by an independent and competent doctor of his own choice," the manual also says.

Suspects also have the right to be visited by immediate family, medical doctors, religious leaders, and representatives of accredited non-government organizations.

Read more: Jonathan de Santos. July 10, 2016 - 2:17pm. The rights of those accused of doing wrong. Philstar.com. www.philstar.com/other-sections/news-feature/2016/07/10/1601427/rights-those-accused-doing-wrong.

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