Atty. Mel Sta. Maria’s guide on your constitutional rights: When ‘invited’ by the police, do not go

If policemen ‘invite’ you to go to the police station, ask for a warrant of arrest first. If they can’t present a warrant, you can politely decline their invitation.

This is what Atty. Mel Sta. Maria advises those who may happen to receive such an invitation.

TV5’s InterAksyon Facebook page reposted their short primer on constitutional rights, based on Sta. Maria’s column entitled “When ‘invited’ by the police, do not go,” published in August 2016.


Here are some tips everyone should heed upon dealing with the police’s ‘invitation:’

  1. If policemen “invite” you to the police station, ensure that there are witnesses to the interaction.
  2. Look for a warrant of arrest. If they don’t, you can say no. If they insist, call for a lawyer.
  3. Ask for the policeman’s names, remember their faces, or take their photos.
  4. Asking you to come to the police station without any warrant of arrest is a violation of your Constitutional right. The Constitution prohibits illegal arrest, search and seizure. This is cited in Section 2, Article 3 (Bill of Rights) of the 1987 Constitution.
  5. Saying yes to the warrantless invitation without a lawyer and finding yourself at the police station, you’d also find yourself at the mercy of the policemen.
  6. You have the right to talk to or accept visits from your immediate family, lawyer, priest, doctor, or CHR-accredited NGO.


In his InterAksyon column, Sta. Maria said that an “invitation” from the police is essentially an arrest without warrant and the police “list,” which is used as the basis for these invitations, can be considered as a “witch-hunt-register.”

“The ‘list’ is not the result of the findings of a judge (required of a warrant of arrest) but a disclosure of an alleged informant, who could be unknown and whose-say-so may even be suspect or borne out of a grudge or other dark motive,” the lawyer said.


He added that the police inviting you to the police station based on that “list” alone is already the start of the “trampling of your rights.”

Sta. Maria also encouraged Filipinos to be vigilant and to share this information to others to ‘save lives.’

“Be an advocate of human rights. Always remember that, in disregarding or ignoring the human rights of others, you may be endangering your own,” he said.

Sources: (,,


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