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Police ready to use cameras for operations, but units still lacking


NATIONAL POLICE chief Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar on Tuesday assured that they will find ways to comply with the Supreme Court’s rules on wearing cameras during operations despite lack of available equipment.

“Our body-worn cameras are not enough, but in the spirit of transparency and accountability, I trust that our commanders will find ways to comply with the guidelines on the use of body-worn cameras,” Mr. Eleazar said in a news release on Tuesday.

He said a memorandum on the general protocols for the use of the cameras in the execution of search and arrest warrants and of warrantless arrests was issued on Monday to all police regional directors and national operational support unit heads.

The memorandum specifies that the cameras must never be turned off while search and arrest warrants are executed, and while warrantless arrests are ongoing “as far as it is practicable.”

He said the national police had a total of 2,696 body-worn cameras as of June 4, and 171 police units will initially receive the units.

He added that 600 cops have so far been trained to use the gadgets.

The High Court promulgated the rules on July 10, and took effect on Saturday after it was published in several newspapers.

“The use of body-worn cameras is not only for the protection of human rights but also to protect policemen from wrong assertions and allegations on the implementation of our operations,” Mr. Eleazar said in Filipino. — Bianca Angelica D. Anago

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