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Eddiegul to cops: Take video of custodial investigations
Cebu First District Rep. Eduardo Gullas.
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Eddiegul to cops: Take video of custodial investigations

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - January 19, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu First District Rep. Eduardo Gullas has called for the video recording of police custodial interrogations of “persons of interest” and suspects, saying it is already a standard practice in other countries, particularly in grave felonies.

Gullas made the statement after two respondents in the case involving the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera claimed they were pressured by the police to link somebody to drug use during the New Year’s party they all attended at a Makati City hotel.

“There’s no question the electronic recording of custodial interviews is a potent law enforcement tool,” the Cebuano lawmaker said in a statement.

Gullas, who is lawyer by profession, said that creating and keeping electronic records of custodial question and answer sessions will provide an instant playback and clarity when there are disputes as to what was said or not said.

He said that this will also protect both the officers conducting the inquiry and the persons being questioned and improve police investigatory skills and practices, including observance of the rights of persons under investigation or invited for questioning.

Gullas added that this will also help prosecutors quickly determine probable cause (or lack of it) to take a case to trial.

“We would urge the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to prepare a project to modernize police stations by equipping them with suitable video recording devices,” he said.

Gullas, a member of the House appropriations committee, said that DILG can then seek funding for the project in the proposed 2022 national budget.

He also said that strict and comprehensive guidelines should also be drawn up as to when and how the electronic recording of custodial interviews should be properly conducted and stored.

Gullas further said that the National Bureau of Investigation, too, should start video-recording its own custodial cross-examinations. — JMD (FREEMAN)

CHRISTINE DACERA
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