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City Hall to confiscate suspicious CCTV cameras

By: Doris C. Bongcac March 24,2014 - 11:59 PM

One of the suspicious CCTV surveillance cameras that were among those ordered taken down by city hall. (CDN PHOTO/EDISON DELOS ANGELES)

Owners of 18 closed-circuit television cameras mounted on utility poles in two barangays in Cebu City were ordered to  take these down or else the device would be confiscated by  City Hall.

“You will never know what their motive is,” said Mayor Michael Rama.

The Cebu City government found 18 private owned CCTV cameras along the road but have yet to identify the owners.

City Hall is giving the still unidentified owners two weeks to remove them, otherwise the City Hall will bring these down for being “nuisance.” The city government, Rama said, authorizes private individuals to install CCTV cameras only within the premises of their establishments. This is provided for in a city ordinance authored by Councilor Sisinio Andales and approved late last year.

“If placed outside, the purpose is no longer to protect their company. Anything being hanged that is unauthorized is something to be presumed to be done in bad faith,” he said.

Councilor Dave Tumulak, head of the city’s command center, said they found yesterday morning 15 CCTV units mounted on poles owned by the Visayan Electric Co. (Veco) and telecommunication companies in two barangays in uptown Cebu City. He begged off from naming the two barangays until they can verify the ownership of the CCTV cameras. A separate inspection on Saturday led to the discovery of three more cameras. “Naay pay lain. Naa tay reports nga naa say gipang butang sa interiors sa mga barangays padulong sa drug dens,” said Tumulak. (We received reports there are CCTVs leading to drug dens.)

Tumulak said CCTVs installed on streets seemed as “digital lookouts” against law enforcers. He said that while they wait for owners of these cameras to come out, they are also having their identities traced by City Hall IT experts using the IP addresses of the outdoor cameras. He is also asking barangay residents to help the city locate other cameras installed on utility poles. The City Council last week passed  a resolution by Tumulak asking barangay officials and the telcos to do an inventory of CCTVs attached to their posts.

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TAGS: Cebu City, peace and order, security

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