Facts: In the Court’s decision dated 29 September 1989, petitioners’ petition for prohibition seeking the declaration of the checkpoints as unconstitutional and their dismantling and/or banning, was dismissed. Petitioners have filed the instant motion and supplemental motion for reconsideration of said decision. Before submission of the incident for resolution, the Solicitor General, for the respondents, filed his comment, to which petitioners filed a reply. The checkpoints are nonetheless attacked by the movants as a warrantless search and seizure and, therefore, violative of the Constitution.
Issue: Whether installment and operation of checkpoints is unconstitutional and constitutes warrantless search.
Held: No, it is the basic right of the State to defend itself from its enemies and, while in power, to pursue its program of government intended for public welfare; and in the pursuit of those objectives, the government has the equal right, under its police power, to select the reasonable means and methods for best achieving them. The checkpoint is evidently one of such means it has selected. it the basic right to defend itself from its enemies and, while in power, to pursue its program of government intended for public welfare; and in the pursuit of those objectives, the government has the equal right, under its police power, to select the reasonable means and methods for best achieving them. The checkpoint is evidently one of such means it has selected.
Routine checkpoint stops do not intrude similarly on the motoring public. First, the potential interference with legitimate traffic is minimal. Motorists using these highways are not taken by surprise as they know, or may obtain knowledge of, the location of the checkpoints and will not be stopped elsewhere. Second, checkpoint operations both appear to and actually involve less discretionary enforcement activity. The regularized manner in which established checkpoints are operated is visible evidence, reassuring to law-abiding motorists, that the stops are duly authorized and believed to serve the public interest. The location of a fixed checkpoint is not chosen by officers in the field, but by officials responsible for making overall decisions as to the most effective allocation of limited enforcement resources. We may assume that such officials will be unlikely to locate a checkpoint where it bears arbitrarily or oppressively on motorists as a class, and since field officers may stop only those cars passing the checkpoint, there is less room for abusive or harassing stops of individuals than there was in the case of roving-patrol stops. Moreover, a claim that a particular exercise of discretion in locating or operating a checkpoint is unreasonable is subject to post-stop judicial review.