DILG backs body cameras for cops but not from CHR budget
Published: 11:23 a.m., Sept. 19, 2017 | Updated: 12:35 a.m., Sept. 20, 2017
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is all for equipping policemen with body cameras but disagreed on using the slashed budget of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to purchase the equipment.
“No, that should be an additional budget,” DILG officer in charge Catalino Cuy told reporters at the wake of PO3 Junior Hilario in Caloocan City on Monday.
In fact, Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said the PNP had already set aside funds for the purchase of body cameras in its budget for 2018.
“Hopefully, we can have the bidding next year,” Dela Rosa told reporters at the Southern Mindanao regional police’s Camp Quintin Merecido in Davao City.
Dela Rosa said he welcomed President Duterte’s proposal for the realignment of the P678-million CHR budget for the body cameras.
“We would gladly accept any realigned funds and use these to conduct seminars on human rights to our policemen,” he said.
“If that pushes through, that’s a very good addition to our law enforcement. It will record the actual operation,” Cuy said, adding that the DILG is now focusing on the internal cleansing after the series of supposed police abuses.
On the other hand, PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos said the purchase of body cameras appeared to be a knee-jerk reaction to alleged abuses and handheld radios could prove more helpful in operations.
“We hope that the request for the (budget to purchase) 37,000 body cameras is approved by Congress. There are already some local government units providing their police stations with body cameras,” Carlos said.
He cited the case of the Eastern Visayas police regional office which has distributed to its men at least 20 body cameras that were donated by private groups to the regional director Chief Supt. Gilbert Cruz.
The PNP sought a P131.5-billion budget, some P900 million set aside for its anti-illegal drug campaign Double Barrel Reloaded, for 2018.
A technical working group is coming up with the specifications, market availability, and the guidelines for the body cameras, which may become standard equipment for all policemen. /kga /atm
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