Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo on Friday, June 11, said the Supreme Court (SC) will come out with the rules on the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement agents in the service of search and arrest warrants issued by the courts.
In his first media interview during the celebration of the SC’s 120th anniversary and since his appointment last April 5, Gesmundo said the rules will be incorporated in the amendments to the Rules of Criminal Procedure.
It is expected that the rules will be finalized and implemented starting next month after two or three deliberations by the SC as a full court this June.
Gesmundo said that Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen has been assigned by the SC to submit a working draft on the proposed revision of the Rules of Criminal Procedure.
“They are working on it and in relation to that we will be amending the Rules of Criminal Procedure with respect to those provisions and one of the things we are working on is the adoption of the rules on the use of body-worn cameras,” he said.
“I’m very optimistic, maybe after two or three deliberations we will come up with the final version,” he added.
“So, we hope with the issuance of these rules on body-worn cameras, these issues will be addressed. It’s in the works and by July perhaps we will have the final version and we will approve it for implementation immediately,” he stressed.
The Chief Justice reminded trial court judges to adhere strictly with the provisions of the Constitution and the existing rules on the issuance of search and arrest warrants.
The use of body-worn cameras by the police and other law enforcement agents in the service of warrants was pressed by various groups after nine persons died in Southern Luzon provinces during the joint police and military operations against persons suspected of having links to terrorist groups.
The groups pointed out that use of body-worn cameras will pinpoint liabilities in deaths that occur during service of search or arrest warrants by law enforcement agents.