Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, on Sunday ordered PNP deputy chief for operations, Lt. Gen. Israel Ephraim Dickson to prepare for a massive information campaign on the use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) by police forces nationwide.
Eleazar made the directive after the Supreme Court (SC) En Banc on Friday issued a resolution that includes the rules on the use of BWCS in the execution of warrants.
“I ordered our PNP Deputy Chief for Operations Police Lt. Gen. Bong Dickson to coordinate with our legal service and human rights affair office together with our technical working group that we have created for our massive information drive in our ranks about the rules on the use of body-worn cameras released by the Supreme Court,” he said partly in Filipino in a video message on Sunday.
He said the use of BWCs will soon be part of the police operational procedures throughout the country.
Although it will not be fully implemented yet in the coming days due to our ongoing processes, our PNP should prepare for its implementation since it is a product of the cooperation between the Supreme Court and the PNP,” he said partly in Filipino.
On Saturday, Eleazar ordered the creation of the technical working group (TWG) that will study and incorporate the rules crafted by the SC into the police guidelines on the use of BWCs.
Eleazar thanked Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo for supporting the PNP’s efforts to further professionalize the organization and to strengthen a human rights-based approach in the conduct of police operations.
The Directorate for Operations and the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) were tasked to come up with a recommendation on the composition of the TWG.
The TWG was also instructed to come up with modules that will be used in the training and seminar programs on all the legal aspect of the use of BWCs to the police units which received the units last month.
The PNP launched the body-worn camera system on June 4 to ensure transparency and legitimacy of law-enforcement operations. Initially, a total of 2,696 body cameras have been distributed to 171 police stations and offices.
The SC resolution issued last Friday was based on the request of assistance of the PNP from the High Court, which was facilitated by Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año and Secretary of Justice Menardo Guevarra.
“The rules on the use of the body-worn cameras crafted by the High Court are a big help to erase doubts and speculations in the conduct of our operations, especially in our aggressive campaign against illegal drugs,” Eleazar said.