Is this pre-martial law? Mr. Jones (not the real name) wrote a short email, stating,

“Dear Sir

The local home owners at BF Homes agreed with the PNP and local officials to conduct Operation Tukhang. The circular allows a house to house inspection to minimize rampant criminality.  “To avoid misunderstanding and for the safety and security of residents, the PNP officers carrying out the visit will be in full uniform and in marked PNP vehicles,” states the announcement.

Is this legal?

Concerned

Mr. Jones

To answer your question- you have a constitutionally guaranteed right to refuse entry of said personnel notwithstanding the circular. The Constitution bars unreasonable searches unless said right is waived. An unreasonable search, by definition is one unaccompanied by a valid warrant.

The right against unreasonable searches and seizures is a personal right which may be waived expressly or impliedly. BUT A WAIVER BY IMPLICATION CANNOT BE PRESUMED. There must be clear and convincing evidence of an actual intention to relinquish the right. There must be proof of the following:

a. that the right exists;

b. that the person involved had knowledge, either constructive or actual, of the existence of said right;

c. that the said person had an actual intention to relinquish the right.

More importantly, if you authorize  the seach, the same must be made voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently in order that the said waiver is to be valid. If you are told that the Circular authorizes a full search and are threatened to provide entry or else you admit guilt, such coercion does not validate  the waiver.  Lim vs. Ponce de Leon and MHP Garments vs. CA.

Please treat with respect police officers who come to your home. From behind your gates, you may answer questions except any incriminatory queries. You may politely refuse entry past your gates for any invasion of privacy will require a search warrant.

Above all, know your rights. Fighting for the same does not imply guilt. The burden of proof is not with the accused.

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