PNP seeks new dialogue with SC on body cams

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) remains hopeful it could still get an audience with Supreme Court magistrates regarding its concerns over some of the guidelines issued by the SC on the use of body cameras in serving arrest and search warrants.

It has been more than two weeks since PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said they want another dialogue, but they have yet to receive a reply from the high tribunal.

“Sumulat na kami requesting for a dialogue. Waiting pa kami sa reply,” Eleazar said in a text message.

He made the statement after a copy of the guidelines was published in The STAR yesterday.

The guidelines will take effect once they are published in the government’s Official Gazette or in two newspapers of national circulation.

Eleazar earlier voiced reservations about some of the provisions, among them is requiring police officers to use at least two alternative recording devices in the absence of body cameras.

Another issue is the SC’s requirement to record on video all arrests made by the police to be submitted in court as it means they should also have a storage device or USB drive.

While waiting for a reply from the SC, Eleazar said they would comply with the guidelines.

The PNP has earlier distributed 2,696 body cameras to its police units. Eleazar said they still need at least 30,000 of the gadgets to cover all police offices nationwide.

The PNP procured the body cameras to ensure transparency in police operations in response to allegations of human rights abuses being committed by policemen since President Duterte took office in 2016.

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