MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) will procure at least 45,000 body-worn cameras (BWC) next year to be used in recording incidents during operations.
PNP Public Information Office chief, Brig. Gen. Redrico Maranan, said in a radio interview Sunday that a BWC-equipped force ensures that there will be no violation in police operational procedures or human rights abuses.
At the same time, PNP personnel will be protected from malicious and baseless charges, Maranan said.
“Ngayon meron lang tayong 2,700 so very, very limited ‘yung mga pulis natin na may issued BWCs but this year, pinrogram na natin ‘yung procurement niyan. Nakapag request na tayo ng budget sa DBM (We only have 2,700 at the moment. So, our police officers with BWCs are very limited. But this year, we have programmed the procurement. We have requested the budget from the Department of Budget and Management),” Maranan said.
Meanwhile, Maranan confirmed that one of the six police officers in the Navotas incident that killed 17-year-old Jerhode Baltazar had a BWC but did not use it when they conducted the operation.
“Dito sa Navotas incident ay kasama ‘yan sa ating inimbestigahan at napatunayan nga natin na ‘yung pulis na merong body camera na naka-issue sa kanya ay hindi niya nagamit or hindi niya nabuhay at sinasabi niya nawalang ng baterya. Pero hindi yun katanggap tanggap na dahilan sapagkat being a responsible officer dapat kapag ginamit mo yung iyong BWC, dapat full charge talaga kapag nag start ka ng duty (In the Navotas incident, that was included in our investigation and we found out that the policeman who was a body camera did not use it, claiming that the battery was dead. That is not acceptable because a responsible officer would make sure that your BWC is fully charged when you come to work),” Maranan said.
Baltazar was shot dead after he was mistaken by the police for a murder suspect.
The six policemen involved in the incident were charged with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and are currently detained at the Navotas City Police Station.
In 2021, the Supreme Court issued guidelines on the utilization of body cameras and required law enforcers to wear them when serving warrants. (PNA)