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In Case The Cops Forget: These Are Your Rights Upon Arrest

What’cha gonna do when they come for you?
IMAGE Oregon Department of Transportation via Wikimedia Commons
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It can be said, without exaggeration, that we live in dangerous times. This is even more apparent now that children are turning up dead on our streets, ostensibly by the hands of the men with whom we were meant to entrust our lives: the police. And while many of us still feel relatively insulated against the violence stemming from President Duterte’s war on drugs, it always helps to be prepared for the worst.

That’s why it’s good to review this Paralegal Bust Card prepared by Karapatan.org, a human rights coalition that’s been at the forefront of the human rights struggle since the Martial Law era. The card details the rights that every person is entitled to when being arrested or placed under custody, including what you can demand and what you can refuse. These are rights that every person can (and should) invoke under these circumstances.

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Of course, it’s unfortunate that we need to be reminded of these at all, because the police, as responsible keepers of the peace, should know to work within their legal boundaries, and be the ones to afford you these rights by default. But the times being what they are, it’s especially important for citizens to equip themselves with the law.

You may download Karapatan.org’s Paralegal Bust Card here, and a version in Filipino here.

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Miguel Escobar
Assistant Features Editor for Esquire Philippines
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