Solon wants video recording of police custodial interrogations of ‘persons of interest’

Published January 19, 2021, 11:36 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

For Cebu 1st District Rep. Eduardo Gullas, it is about time for the Philippines to adopt the practices of other countries with respect to the video recording of police custodial interrogations of “persons of interest” and suspects.

FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN

“There’s no question that the electronic recording of custodial interviews is a potent law enforcement tool,” he said, following claims made by the two respondents in the case involving the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera that the police pressured them to link somebody to drug use during the New Year’s party they all attended at a Makati City hotel.

He said that by “creating and keeping” electronic records of custodial question and answer sessions, there will be instant playback and clarity when there are disputes as to what was said or not said.

Gullas, a lawyer, said his proposal will also protect both the officers conducting the inquiry and the persons being questioned, and improve police investigatory skills and practices, including observance of the rights of persons under investigation or invited for questioning,

He said it will also help prosecutors quickly determine probable cause, or lack of it, to take a case to trial.

“We would urge the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to prepare a project to modernize police stations by equipping them with suitable video recording devices,” the House leader said.

A member of the House Committee on Appropriations urged the DILG to seek funding for the project in the proposed 2022 national budget.

“Strict and comprehensive guidelines should also be drawn up as to when and how the electronic recording of custodial interviews should be properly conducted and stored,” Gullas said.

He also urged the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to start video recording its own custodial cross-examinations.

 
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