If you are confonted by an Abusive Law Enforcement Officer

With the recent incident involving abusive NBI investigator Bocaling, who alighted and pointed a gun at two ladies in a road rage, people have been asking what to do in such situation.

Q: If you are confronted by an abusive law enforcement officer who pulls his gun out at you in a traffic altercation or elsewhere, what do you do?

A: You don't pull out your gun and threaten him or engage him in a gun fight.

Remember that the police and military enjoy a PRESUMPTION in their favor that they are doing something fair and regular in the performance of their functions and duty. Especially if they are in uniform. In short, they are presumed to be the "good guy", unless later to be proven otherwise. Civilians do not enjoy this presumption. In the meantime, in a traffic altercation, if two people, one in a military or police uniform and one in civilian clothes start pointing their guns at each other and engage in a gun fight, YOU will be presumed to be the "bad guy", at least initially. Responding officers when seeing this scene will PRESUME that their comrade in uniform is engaging a robbery or hold-up suspect and they fill fire upon YOU, not the cop. Either way, the responding officers will almost always side with their comrade in uniform.

It is a very dangerous situation to be confronted by an armed and irate cop on the road. AVOID ARGUING OR ESCALATING THE SITUATION AT ALL COSTS. This means either just staying put, or retreating and looking for help elsewhere. Get his plate number and car type and color. Make also a mental note of what he looks like. If he shows a badge or gives his name, try your best to remember. After the incident, immediately write down all these details while your memory is fresh. Or better while the incident is unfolding discreetly take a video or pics with your cell phone camera. Abusive officers are more afraid of the camera than guns. This will be your EVIDENCE later on.

As soon as you can, report the incident at once at the nearest traffic enforcer or police precinct. This will show that you were the first to file regarding the case if ever there are legal cases to be filed later. Reporting the incident early enough will make your story CREDIBLE.

If no one was hurt, I don't normally recommend that you file a case. This will spare you the hassle of going through a legal procedure, facing your opponent, and receiving all the threats that go along with the case. However, if you do want to file a case and are decided to do so on principle to rid this world of scumbags, then after you check his car registration (at the LTO) and find out who he is, his unit, and his address, you may go to a notary public and execute an affidavit of complaint and submit it to his commanding officer of his unit. This will trigger an administrative case which may result in dismissal from the service. Or you may also file your affidavit with the Ombudsman (Agham road, Q.C.), and let them prosecute the errant cop or soldier. You may also file a criminal case for Grave threats before the Prosecutor's Office, but the penalty is ridiculously low.

For police, you may also file an administrative complaint at the People's Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) (located at the municipal or city hall) of the place where the incident took place. Or you may also file it with the PNP internal affairs services (IAS) at Camp Crame. Or the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) at Buendia, Makati City.

For soldiers you may file a case at the Judge Advocate General's Office (JAGO) at Fort Bonifacio, or the Provost Marshal's Office.

For NBI, PDEA, or other law enforcement agencies, you may file your complaint before their respective offices or agencies Attention: the Director or Head of Agency.

Administrative cases such as these are free, they cost nothing. And once filed, the agency can take care of prosecution; you don't need a lawyer.

A few months ago, my driver unavoidably cut a car along C5. The car was a typical one driven by military or police: a beat up old box type lancer. I could tell immediately that the lone driver was a policeman from the way he looked. He also had some sort of uniform upper draped over his front seat. The driver started giving us "the look" of someone who was pissed. I expected him to pull out a gun. I avoided giving him a counter "look" which I knew would further infuriate him and escalate the situation. Instead I immediately gave him back my most apologetic face, raised my hand as if to surrender, and gave him my sweetest "pasensya na kayo boss." He was still visibly angry, but I had not given him any reason to get down and fight with me. So he slowly faced forward and drove away ahead of us. I told my driver to slow down and let him get further ahead till he was gone.

Lesson: The police and military are suckers for people who are willing to show them some respect in public. You can pretend, even if you don't mean it. ;)

Stay Safe.

Nice input sir. Thanks for

Nice input sir. Thanks for sharing. The actual incident that you shared is a very good example and maybe to other responsible FA owner we can follow that, even if the other person is not a LEO just to budge away from confrontation.

common sense

Actually it's just basic common sense. The problem is how to exercise that common sense and stay cool while an irate policeman or soldier is pointing a gun at you! :)

No respect

Nowadays there are lots of Men in Uniform both Police and Military who has no respect for ordinary Citizens....  Self-arrogance, disrespectful and often thinks that HE IS THE BOSS in public places....

There should be LAMBASTING DRESS-DOWN of someone from Malacanang for their behavior coz people started to MISTRUST them.  Even if I am riding on jeepney or crossing the street, when a Police on duty is next to me personally or in their patrol car, I felt ALOFT and never try to have eye contact with them.  IWAS TINGIN lang at baka sabihin e ANG YABANG ko at nakipag titigan...

Nice in legal terms

It's way better to fight in legal aspect, very informative article sir! Sana nga lang Men in Uniform would be Men enough to use their GI weapons in more productive way.