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De Villa Facts: On 20 January 1987, the National Capital Region District Command (NCRDC) was activated pursuant to Letter of Instruction 02/87 of the Philippine General Headquarters, AFP, with the mission of conducting security operations within its area of responsibilit y and peripheral areas, for the purpose of establishing an effective territorial defense, maintaining peace and order, and providing an atmosphere conducive to the social, economic and political development of the National Capital Region. As part of its duty to maintain peace and order, the NCRDC installed checkpoints in various parts of Valenzuela, Metro Manila. Petitioners aver that, because of the installation of said checkpoints, the residents of Valenzuela are worried of being harassed and of their safety being placed at the arbitrary, capricious and whimsical disposition of the military manning the checkpoints, considering that their cars and vehicles are being subjected to regular searches and check-ups, especially at night or at dawn, without the be nefit of a search warrant and/or court order. Their alleged fear for their safety increased when, at dawn of 9 July 1988, Benjamin Parpon, a supply officer of the Municipality of Valenzuela, Bulacan, was gunned down allegedly in cold blood by the members of the NCRDC manning the checkpoint along McArthur Highway at Malinta, Valenzuela, for ignoring and/or refusing to submit himself to the checkpoint and for continuing to speed off inspire of warning shots fired in the air.
Issue: WON the installation of checkpoints violates the right of the people against unreasonable searches and seizures
Held: Petitioner's concern for their safety and apprehension at being harassed by the military manning the checkpoints are not sufficient grounds to declare the checkpo ints per se, illegal. No proof has been presented before the Court to show that, in the course of their routine checks, the military, indeed, committed specific violations of petitioners'' rights against unlawful search and seizure of other rights. The constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures is a personal right invocable only by those whose rights have been infringed, or threatened to be infringed. Not all searches and seizures are prohibited. Those which are reasonable are not forbi dden. The setting up of the questioned checkpoints may be considered as a security measure to enable the NCRDC to pursue its mission of establishing effective territorial defense and maintaining peace and order for the benefit of the public. Checkpoints ma y not also be regarded as measures to thwart plots to destabilize the govt, in the interest of public security. Between the inherent right of the state to protect its existence and promote public welfare and an individual s right against a warrantless search w/c is, however, reasonably conducted, the former should prevail. True, the manning of checkpoints by the military is susceptible of abuse by the military in the same manner that all governmental power is susceptible of abuse. But, at the cost of occasional inconvenience, discomfort and even irritation to the citizen, the checkpoints during these abnormal times, when conducted w/in reasonable limits, are part of the price we pay for an orderly society and a peaceful community.