Video cameras may soon be a requirement in Coast Guard operations

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MANILA, Philippines—Don’t  forget to bring your video cameras.

The Philippine Coast Guard  is thinking of requiring all its units to bring along a video camera whenever they go out on a mission or routine patrol, PCG commandant Rear Adm. Rodolfo Isorena said Saturday.

Isorena said this was an offshoot of the killing by PCG personnel of a Taiwanese fisherman in the Balintang Channel in the north on May 9.

“We are thinking of making it a policy that every time there is an operation, there is someone taking a video so that important events can be documented and so that in case something like this happens, we have physical evidence,” Isorena said.

He said the PCG would also review its rules of engagement and its memorandum of agreement with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

PCG spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Armand Balilo said all the 69 PCG stations, nine vessels, and 180 detachments throughout the country have already been issued video cameras.

“This is for monitoring during sea operations, like if there is overloading when they do ship inspections,” he said.

Balilo said that even before the killing of the Taiwanese fisherman, the PCG was already planning to provide video cameras to its districts and stations.

“You’d be at the losing end if [those apprehended] claim that something different happened. So now, all the operations of the ships, especially law enforcement, should be documented with a video cam,” he said.

Balilo said the video cameras cost around P30,000 each.

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