The PNP high command reminded all police units to strictly observe the prescribed Police Operational Procedures when conducting law enforcement operations, particularly when effecting arrests. The PNP Chief, echoed his own reminder to the 160,000-strong members of the PNP to supplement the clarification issued by Malacañang on the scope and limitations of the authority of the PNP and AFP under a state of emergency on account of lawless violence.
A memorandum order containing guidelines for the PNP and AFP under a state of lawlessness issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea specifically emphasized that “no civil or political rights are suspended during the existence of a state of lawless violence.”
For his part, Citing Rule 13 of the Revised Police Operational Procedures, Dela Rosa said, as a general rule, “all arrests should be made only on the basis of a valid Warrant of Arrest issued by a competent authority, except in instances where the law allows warrantless arrest.”
He said the only conditions that allow law enforcement authorities to effect warrantless arrests are:
1) When the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, is attempting to commit an offense in front of arresting officers;
2) 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;
3) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment of place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending; and
4) When the person arrested, or to be arrested, has voluntarily waived his right against warrantless arrest.
PNP Spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Dionardo B Carlos explained that the declaration of a state of lawlessness does not change the rules prescribed in the Revised Police Operational Procedures, or rules of engagement. (PNP-PIO)