Fiscal tells PNP: use body cams

Dumaguete City Police should now use their is sued.. body cameras in sensitive crime patrols and arrests in order to boost authenticity and credibility of evidence especially when somebody gets killed in the process, like in drug raids.

To strengthen their case and remove any doubt in the integrity of the investigation results, the City Prosecutor has requested the Philippine National Police to utilize the eight (8) body cameras so that footages will credibly support the arresting team’s allegations against the suspects.

Prosecutor Joseph Arnel Zerna stressed that footages from body cameras of the first responders and arresting officers can greatly bolster the integrity of their operations and apprehensions. This will ultimately lead to greater certainty of getting convictions in the trial courts.

However, the local police replied that from the time the body cameras were donated, no footages from these cameras were presented or used in the prosecution of cases.

The fiscal noted that trial judges are now becoming increasingly skeptical of the repeated narration of events or storyline in drug buy bust operations and even checkpoints are becoming too familiar and predictable.

Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo has also made it a point to provide the local PNP with body cameras precisely to remove all doubts of possible irregularities and lapses in the standard operating procedures during police operation. He also said that the use of body cameras will easily disprove any possible allegations of human rights abuses during legitimate operations.

Councilor Alan Cordova inquired if the PNP has an internal policy or protocol on the utilization of body cameras and the subsequent safekeeping of the footages to preserve their integrity.

The City Police replied in the negative and added that the higher authorities have not issued them guidelines on how to use or keep the footages obtained in the operations.

Nevertheless, the PNP will consider the request for the utilization of body cameras and presentation of the footages taken from the operations. Meanwhile, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency revealed that their agents will soon be using body cameras in their anti-drugs operations.