PNP welcomes possible release of SC rules on body cameras in July

Published June 12, 2021, 3:34 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Philippine National Police (PNP) welcomed on Saturday, June 12, the latest pronouncement of the Supreme Court (SC) that the rules on the use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) could be finalized and approved next month.

FOR TRANSPARENCY’S SAKE –PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar announces the use of body-worn cameras among police on June 4, 2021, nearly four years after teenager Kian Lloyd delos Santos was killed in a case of police abuse in Caloocan City. (Photo courtesy of PNP)

PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the guidelines that will be released by the SC will be incorporated into the protocols crafted by the police organization.

“We welcome this development on the Supreme Court’s approval of the rules on using BWCs in implementing search and arrest warrants,” Eleazar said.

During a media engagement last Friday, SC Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo bared that the rules on the use of BWCs will be tackled starting Tuesday, June 15, when the High Tribunal resumes its session.

“I thank the Supreme Court for giving their time in crafting the guidelines. I assure our esteemed justices that these protocols will strictly be observed by our men,” Eleazar said.

Last June 4, the PNP launched the BWC System to ensure transparency and the legitimacy of police anti-crime operations, particularly in the service of search or arrest warrants.

An initial 2,696 BWCs were distributed to 171 police stations and offices across the country.

Eleazar said the BWCS would provide a guarantee that police personnel would strictly abide by the police operating procedure in law enforcement operations and, at the same time, give protection to policemen against false and malicious accusations of abuse or misconduct.

The calls for the use of BWCs by the cops were first made when teenager Kian Lloyd delos Santos was killed by the police in Caloocan City in 2017.

The PNP initially claimed the incident was a result of an anti-illegal drug operation but the court later found out that delos Santos was brutally murdered by the police.

The killing sparked backlash on President Duterte’s so-called drug war.