Body-worn cameras now used in operations in Cebu province – CPPO chief
CEBU CITY, Philippines — At least 96 body-worn cameras were issued in six component cities in Cebu province and some of these had already been used in their police operations.
Police Colonel Engelbert Soriano, director of the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO), said that some of the issued body-worn cameras were already utilized during their police operations for quite a while now.
Soriano said that these cameras were not limited to serving warrants but could also be used by patrol officers during their patrols in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
“This will help a lot, so no specific type of operation. Kasi mas madalas yung araw-araw na pagpapatrolya ng regular patrols ng ating mga kasamahan, so gamit nila yan. Walang moment na aalisin nila. Hindi lang during buy-bust, o service of the warrant, o Operation Katok or whatsoever. Hindi lang ganun, so kasama to ng uniform nila,” Soriano said.
(This will help a lot, so no specific type of operation. This is because patrol officers are mostly in their regular patrols, so they will also use the camera. There is no such time that they will remove the cameras — Not only during buy-bust, service of warrants, or Oplan Katok whatsoever. Not only these (operations), so these will be attached to their uniforms at all times.)
Soriano cited Naga City as one of those component cities whose police station already used the cameras.
He, however, clarified that he was also informed that some stations were already using them, but he had no exact information on what specific city this was from.
The six component cities of Cebu province are the following: Talisay City, Naga City, Carcar City, Toledo City, Danao City, and Bogo City.
Soriano said that the six component cities in Cebu province were major contributors to the number of crime cases in the province and this development would be of great help, especially in documenting their police operations, especially on illegal drugs.
“Definitely makakatulong. Sabi nga ng chief PNP ay ‘ in this case we are forced to do good’ sabi nya, so gagamitin din natin yan para maicorrect natin yung minor infractions ng mga tropa natin during drug operations, he said.
(This will definitely help us. The PNP chief said that in this case we are forced to do good, so we will use this to correct the minor infractions of our troops during drug operations.)
“So ready kami dito. Ang pinag aaralan lang namin ay ang proper na pag carry. Siguro kasama sa magiging result ng Technical Working Group ng Camp Crame,” Soriano said.
(So we are ready for this. The thing though that we are studying here is how to carry the carry and perhaps, this include the results of the Technical Working Group of Camp Crame.)
The Technical Working Group from Camp Crame is a unit that will monitor and ensure that the guidelines on proper usage and execution of these cameras on the ground will be followed.
Recently, the chief of the Philippine National Police, Police General Guillermo Eleazar, said that the guidelines for using the body-worn cameras were still in progress, but the cameras were ready for use in the meantime.
Eleazar also said that they had sought guidance from the Supreme Court to finalize their drafted guidelines for the implementation of body-worn cameras as the latter were big adjustments for them.
With this, Soriano said they were ready to implement any guidance or changes relayed from the national headquarters to them.
Neck chain for body-worn cameras
The CPPO chief said that they were also requesting the Logistics Division of the region to improvise a ‘neck chain’ to prevent these cameras from falling and breaking during operations.
“Nakita nyo naba yung body-worn camera? Kung medyo tatakbo yung operatiba, kung titingnan mo, simple na kit lang kasi sya dun sa uniform. Hindi rin na design yung uniform namin para lagyan sya ng body-worn camera so tingin ko dun, mahuhulog talaga sya,” he said.
(Have you seen the body-worn camera? If the operative is moving, if you look at it, it is only a simple kit (equipment) attached to the uniform. Our uniforms are not designed to be attached with body-worn cameras.)
“So pinakiusapan namin yung aming Logistics officer na mag improvise ng parang neck chain para kung sakali mang makawala sya dun sa dibdib ng operatiba natin ay at least hindi sya mahuhulog at masira sa ground,mabasag,” Soriano said.
(So as per my opinion, it will really fall. So we requested the Logistics officer (region) to improvise something like a ‘neck chain’ so if ever these will be detached from our operatives, at least it will not fall, destroyed on the ground, then break.)
He said that he would leave the discretion to the commander on the ground, particularly the chief of police, on who would be assigned with the cameras.
However, he clarified that these would be functional along with established guidelines for their operations.
He also said that these would help them assure the public that they were ready to document their operations to make sure that there would be no infractions from the officer on duty.
On his visit to the PRO-7 headquarters in Camp Sergio Osmeña, PNP chief Eleazar said that the implementation of body-worn cameras was part of their step toward gaining the trust of the community that was tainted by a few police scalawags.
Also, he previously said that they would set provisions to use body cameras along with the Data Privacy Act.
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