SENATOR Win Gatchalian said the recent rules promulgated by the Supreme Court requiring law enforcers to use video recording devices in carrying out arrest and search warrants will keep in check the actions taken by the members of the Philippine National Police.
“As the primary protector of the civilian populace, our police operatives must ensure that their integrity and character are always beyond reproach especially in the conduct of their function,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian welcomed the high court’s resolution outlining the guidelines on the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement agents, having been one of the first senators to propose the legislation in the same, way back in 2017 after 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos was killed during an anti-illegal drugs operation by the Caloocan Police.
The senator said the use of body-worn cameras is seen to deter misconduct and improve law enforcement accountability during police encounters.
A recording made in the body camera can provide evidence of an objective and factual narration of the police operation and not reliant on witnesses with uncorroborated hearsay and self-serving testimonies, Gatchalian said.
“It will protect the public against police misconduct and help our policemen from false accusations of abuse. It is also important to recognize the value of utilizing technology as an important enforcement and public safety tool,” he added.
This development, according to the senator, will somehow address the perceived pervasive culture of impunity in the police organization and alleged police brutality.
“Hindi dapat mangibabaw ang impresyon sa publiko ng pagkakaroon ng mga police scalawags sa hanay ng PNP kaya kinakailangan ang ganitong panuntunan. Naniniwala ako na marami sa ating mga kapulisan ang marangal at tapat sa kanilang sinumpaang tungkulin. At sa ganitong pamamaraan, maaaring maibalik ang kumpiyansa ng publiko sa mga alagad ng batas,” Gatchalian said.