The Philippine National Police (PNP) is now finalizing the protocol for the use of body cameras in police operations in a bid to avoid legal technicalities especially especially in prosecuting suspected criminals.
PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar they need to consult with other government agencies and the Supreme Court in crafting the protocols that must be observed by police personnel in using the body cameras, especially in the aspect of using the video footage as pieces of evidence against suspected criminals.
“We are coordinating with the Supreme Court and the suggestion is that we should have a protocol at least in the implementation of the search warrants. The public is assured of good improvements because this is not only for the protection of the public but also of the police,” said Eleazar.
The procurement of body cameras was suggested and later funded by the Congress amid allegations of extra-judicial killings and human rights abuses in the conduct of drug war. Police were also accused of planting guns and illegal drugs allegedly to make it appear that the suspects engaged the policemen in a gun battle and that the suspects were indeed drug pushers.
The procurement, however, was delayed and it was only this year that the 3,000 pieces of body cameras were accepted.
“These were already distributed to police stations but I want to clarify that not all police stations will be given because we do not have enough body cameras to supply to our units. These will only be distributed to city police stations,” said Eleazar.
He, however, said that there will be more procurement in the future in order to cover all the police stations and police units across the country.