‘Transparency’ in police ops: PNP to buy 30K body cams

PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is eyeing to acquire more than 30,000 body-worn cameras, which would be used to record the conduct of police anti-crime operations.

PNP chief General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar said that a total of 2,696 body cameras have already been distributed to different police stations and units in key cities across the country.

“We need additional 32,136 units to include all other support units,” 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.

Eleazar is confident that the use of body cams would be implemented finally happen under his leadership.

The PNP chief said that he would initially want the body cameras used by policemen in the service of court-issued search warrants to clear up allegations of irregularities in such operations.

Eleazar said this would serve as protection “for both parties, the police operatives and the persons who are subjects of the warrant.”

“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,” he said.

According to the PNP chief, 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 Court 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.

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