PNP chief keen on acquiring police bodycams

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is keen on pushing for the inclusion of body cameras as standard equipment during operations.

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said aside from actually acquiring the equipment, a protocol is to be set on publicly disclosing footage from video cams used during actual operations.

“We really have to talk things out kung papaano yung magiging legality, yung paggamit at papaano or basta-basta na lang ba ibibigay yan sa publiko without compromising the identity of yung mga taong involved and yung identity din ng pulis natin,” Albayalde said.

The PNP chief said they are eyeing to prioritize providing bodycams to drug enforcement units of the different regional offices and special units, as well as members of the Regional Public Safety Battalions (RPSB) or mobile units.

He said they see the program, which aims to ensure transparency in police operations, to be implemented, at least partially, by the third quarter of the year.

“With regards to the procurement ng body-worn cameras, nasa phase pa lang tayo ng product presentation. So wala pang bidding na nangyayari, although the fund ay approved na. That’s about mga PHP332 million. Kung hindi ako nagkakamali, allotted na yan, part na ng pondo, nasa GAA (General Appropriations Act) but then, sabi ko nga, nasa process pa lang of product presentation. Napakaraming nag-present kasi, napakaraming gustong sumali sa bidding,” Albayalde said.

In the meantime, Albayalde said allowing drug enforcement units to allow media men or baranggay officials to tag along and get footage during operations may help make operations transparent.

“Inasmuch na wala pa yung mga body cameras namin, ine-encourage natin yung ating mga operatives, lalo na members ng DEU (drug enforcement unit) as much as possible. Kung meron silang ma-appoint or makasama ng media to get a footage of their operation or at least magsama sila ng barangay official kung saan sila mag-o-operate, just to make the operation transparent at para maiwasan din natin yung pagdududa ng iba sa atin,” he added. PNA