In Eastern Visayas, body cams tapped to stop cop abuse
TACLOBAN CITY — Starting this week, police operations in Eastern Visayas region will be recorded on video by government operatives to dispel doubts that irregularities are being committed in the government’s anticrime drive.
At least 20 body cameras were distributed to police headquarters and stations in six provinces and seven cities in Eastern Visayas by Chief Supt. Gilberto Cruz, regional police director, after the flag ceremony at the regional police headquarters in Palo town, Leyte province on Monday.
Two cameras each would be given to the provincial police headquarters in Southern Leyte, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar, Eastern Samar and Biliran, while one camera would be given to each of the seven city police stations. These are the cities of Tacloban, Ormoc and Baybay in Leyte; Maasin in Southern Leyte; Catbalogan and Calbayog in Samar; and Borongan in Eastern Samar.
The remaining camera would be kept at the regional police headquarters.
Cruz said the Philippine National Police did not spend a single centavo for the cameras since these were donated by his friends from Metro Manila.
“These body cameras will be used during our antidrug operations and other [anticrime operations]. This will dispel allegations that the police are committing abuses, planting of evidence and even [resorting to] EJK (extrajudicial killings),” Cruz said during an interview.
“We want to be transparent in our operations. We want to provide protection both to our policemen and the suspects,” he said.
Offices that did not receive any camera were required to record their operations using their mobile phone cameras, he said.
Cruz also encouraged members of the media to join their operations so they could witness “the risks and sacrifices being made by policemen.”
Cruz said he expected that another set of 30 cameras would be distributed to other police stations in the region, which has 121 police stations.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.