Body cams for law enforcers a must for transparency — CHR

Published March 4, 2021, 11:28 AM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has underscored the urgent need of law enforcement operatives for body and vehicle dashboard cameras to “assure transparency and accountability” in their operations.

Commission on Human Rights (MANILA BULLETIN)
Commission on Human Rights

CHR Spokesperson and lawyer Jacqueline Ann de Guia said the “misencounter” among agents of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Quezon City last Feb. 24 is a “wake-up call” for police officials to always carry body cameras when they go on field operations, while their patrol vehicles should always be equipped with dashboard cameras.

Four persons died during the “misencounter.” President Duterte has tasked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as the sole agency to probe the incident.

De Guia said the CHR will also be conducting its own probe regarding the PNP-PDEA encounter “in the pursuit of truth and justice.” She said the commission will support the NBI.

“The use of body cams will help greatly increase police efforts to ensure transparency and accountability in its operations, particularly at the time when an increasing number of law enforcers are deployed to ensure compliance with community quarantine measure or when the conduct and legality of certain raids, arrests, or other anti-crime activities are called into question,” De Guia said.

While the PNP has announced it will provide its men with body cameras, “we hope that in the coming months more body-worn cameras will be distributed to members of the police force beyond Metro Manila,” she added.