Bill seeks preservation of CCTV footages of crime


01:28 PM May 4th, 2012

By: Karen Boncocan, May 4th, 2012 01:28 PM

MANILA, Philippines—With more and more crimes being recorded using closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, a lawmaker seeks to require owners of such gadgets to preserve and surrender recorded data to authorities.

Quezon City Representative Winston Castelo has filed House Bill 5971, which will require owners of CCTVs and similar gadgets to furnish the authorities with footage of crimes being investigated.

Non-disclosure of such information “may be construed as spoliation or tampering of evidence.  Depriving authorities of said data when available is clear obstruction of justice,” he said.

Castelo said that some cities and local government units have issued ordinances regulating the use of CCTVs for self-protection or as a deterrent against intruders, attackers or criminals particularly in the business sector. He said the gadgets were especially useful to authorities investigating crimes that have no witnesses.

“It has now become admissible evidence in court –the submission of the images or sounds captured on a CCTV or similar gadgets,” Castelo said.

And while HB 5971 does not prescribe penalties for non-disclosure of footages of crimes, Castelo said that since the act falls under obstruction of justice, it would be penalized under the Revised Penal Code and similar statutes in the criminal justice system.

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