Bill seeks preservation of CCTV footages of crime



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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  • sacrebleau

    This requires a passage of law? Unbelievable. You would think that this is already part of police procedure and falls under archiving of evidence. Also, no one can prevent police access to private cctvs anyway. and why would anyone prevent access? So it’s merely a case of the cops copying the files. If the owner of the cctv were to surrender the files, that would incur expense on his part.

    So if this bill was passed into law, owners of cctvs would rather just say that the camera wasn’t on or that it’s just a dummy camera to avoid being inconvenienced.

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