The Philippine National Police is eyeing to acquire more than 30,000 body-worn cameras for its police stations and units nationwide to be used in the conduct of anti-crime operations.
PNP chief Police General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said that a total of 2,696 body cams have already been distributed to the different police stations and units in key cities across the country.
“We need additional 32,136 units to include all other support units,” PGEN Eleazar said, adding that the additional body cameras would complete the PNP’s requirement of 34,832 units.
“But in the meantime that there is still no budget for this additional procurement, we will make use of what we have and hopefully, this would convince our lawmakers to fund additional body cameras for the PNP in the spirit of transparency and effective law enforcement,” he added.
PGEN Eleazar is confident that the use of the body cams will finally happen under his leadership.
He said that he would initially want these body cams used by policemen in the service of court-issued search warrants to clear up allegations of irregularities in such operations.
This will serve as protection for both parties, the police operatives and the persons who are subjects of the warrant, PGEN Eleazar stressed.
“These body cameras will ensure transparency in police operations and, hopefully, put a stop to allegations that policemen are engaged in planting of evidence or even the summary execution of suspects,” Eleazar said.
According to the Chief PNP, he has been in touch with the Supreme Court regarding the use of body cameras in the service of search and arrest warrants. A meeting was held last month between the police and the High Tribunal to discuss other matters as well.
At present, Eleazar said the police force is still awaiting the guidance and the protocols of the Supreme Court in using the body cameras so that privacy concerns and other legal repercussions would be avoided.