MANILA — Senator Idol Raffy Tulfo has filed a measure mandating law enforcement personnel to use body-worn cameras during special police operations and other activities to ensure transparency and strengthen evidence quality.
Tulfo’s Senate Bill (SB) No. 2199 or “Body-worn Camera Act” will apply to law enforcement operations including service of warrants of arrest, implementation of search warrants, enforcement of visitorial powers of the Chief Philippine National Police and unit commanders, anti-illegal drugs operation, among others.
“This law will provide for an effective law enforcement operation – from investigation, apprehension, detention, and prosecution by utilizing sound and modern procedure in crime investigation,” the bill read.
Body-worn Camera refers to an electronic camera system designated to law enforcement units for creating, generating, sending, receiving, storing, displaying, and processing audio-visual recordings that may be worn during operations
According to Tulfo, body-worn cameras shall meet the following minimum standard requirement: 720p or higher video resolution; built-in frame rate, audio, date and time-stamping, and GPS; eight hours continuous battery life; capability to store eight hours continuous audio-video footage; and with a night mode built-in.
In filing the measure, Tulfo said that law enforcement officers are mandated to wear and activate body-worn cameras to capture and record the entire conduct of operation during its execution.
He added that the body-worn camera shall record in full all the activities incidental to the conduct of the operation and that it shall not be deactivated until the operation has concluded and the law enforcement officers leave the venue of the activity.
Tulfo said the law enforcement officer who fails without reasonable grounds to use the body-worn camera or alternative recording devices or intentionally interferes with the body-worn cameras’ ability to accurately capture audio and video recordings of the arrest, or otherwise manipulates such recording during or after the operation may be liable for contempt of court.
During the hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs yesterday, May 23, Tulfo said that no operative should conduct an anti-drug operation without a body cam to also avoid possible human violations involving erring police officers.