Not enough body cameras but Eleazar assures compliance as SC rules on use of BWCs take effect

By PNP

QUEZON CITY – (August 3, 2021) – The use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) or alternative recording devices (ARDs) in police operations is now mandatory in the Philippine National Police (PNP).

PNP Chief, Police General Guillermo Lorenzo T Eleazar said the Directorate for Operations issued on Monday, August 2, a Memorandum containing the general protocols for the use of the BWCs or ARDs in the execution of search and arrest warrants as well as warrantless arrests.

The Memorandum was addressed to all Police Regional Office Directors and National Operational Support Unit Directors for strict compliance.

“Ngayong epektibo na ang mga alituntunin na inilabas ng ating Korte Suprema tungkol sa paggamit ng body-worn cameras, agad naglabas ng kautusan ang inyong PNP ng Memorandum Order sa lahat ng ating commanders na sumunod sa mga patakarang ito,” said PGen Eleazar.

“Ang inyong PNP ang nagsagawa ng inisyatibo para humingi ng tulong sa Korte Suprema para sa malinaw na alituntunin sa paggamit ng mga body-worn cameras kaya walang dahilan para hindi naming sundin ito,” he added.

The PNP Chief pointed out that the Memorandum specifies the general protocols on the use of the BWCs or ARDs where the gadgets are never to be turned off at anytime while the execution of a search and arrest warrant or a warrantless arrest is going on.

He said that in cases of valid warrantless arrests, the BWC or ARD will be used as far as it is practicable.

“The memorandum also requires police operatives to, upon return of warrant, submit a copy of the video to the court along with an affidavit attesting to the facts and authenticity of the recording,” PGen Eleazar said.

“Nakasaad din dito na kailangang magpaliwanag sa korte ng mga operatiba sakaling hindi nila sundin ang requirement na paggamit ng BWC o ARD sa kanilang operasyon,” he added.

The PNP Chief assured that Enhanced Operational Guidelines and Policies on the use of BWCs and ARDs will soon be disseminated to all police offices and units so all police personnel will be guided accordingly on the proper utilization of the devices.

“Ito ay hindi lamang para sa proteksyon ng mga karapatan ng ating mga kababayan kundi proteksyon din ng aming hanay laban sa mga maling haka-haka at alegasyon sa isinasagawa naming operasyon,” said PGen Eleazar.

“Hindi sapat ang aming body-worn cameras but in the spirit of transparency and accountability, I trust that our commanders will find ways to comply with the Supreme Court’s guidelines on the use of body-worn cameras,” the Chief PNP pointed out. (PNP-PIO)