Monday, October 22, 2007

The COMELEC Check Points

I was on my way to an appointment this afternoon when I chanced upon a group of PNP personnel manning a checkpoint along the national road. I asked them what it was for, and I got the reply that it's a COMELEC check point. Barangay and SK elections are scheduled to be held next week.
At once, I was reminded of an information I heard over the radio program of the Police Provincial Office regarding the necessity of setting up check points. The police-broadcasters were telling that check points are mandated by the law especially during these times of election; and that on the level of the practical, check points have been instrumental in quelling criminality. Well, the police officers have their stories to tell to buttress their claim on the benefits of check points.
To me, check points are choke points. They serve to clog our movement, particularly when we travel. I just wonder whether those who man the choke points are really briefed on what and how to do their craft. Strictly speaking, for instance, unless there is a grave reason, one cannot be ordered to alight from his/her vehicle. Yet, once I was made to disembark from the vehicle that I was driving. I did not argue against what they do. To my mind, to argue with a misinformed mind is useless -- misinformed, because if they were otherwise, my rights should have been respected voluntarily by them.
Actually, what prompted me to write an entry in my blogs about COMELEC check points is their obvious uselessness. Take for instance the COMELEC check point in Sto. Nino, Rizal. In the middle of the road, there is an iron-sheet-made structure that says "Stop! (This is) COMELEC Check Point." Yet no one was manning the choke point!!!!
A case of implementing the letters of the law, or literally interpreting the legal requirements laid down by the occasion of, say, elections...
Hindi nga lamang choke point, e. Makaka-disgrasya pa sa mga motorista..

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