Duterte orders PNP to hasten procurement of body cams
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to hasten the procurement of body cameras to be used in police operations, especially in anti-drug raids and buy-busts, PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said Monday.
“Pinapamadali na ito ng Pangulo. Binigyan tayo ng taning na December 10 na tapusin ang procurement na ito upang magamit na agad ang body cameras sa anti-drug operations,” Banac said in a press briefing at Camp Crame.
(The President wants us to expedite it. He gave us a deadline to finish the procurement on December 10 so that we can already use the body cameras in anti-drug operations.)
If the PNP does not complete the procurement by the end of this year, the P334 million allocated by the government for the project will be returned to the national treasury by December 31, according to Banac.
“So panibagong proseso na naman by next year so lalong maaantala ang ating proyekto na paggamit ng body cameras (It will be another process by next year so the project of using body cameras will be delayed even more),” he explained.
Once the 2,700 body cameras are delivered to the PNP, the police in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas will be prioritized to receive the equipment.
“‘Yan ang mga identified na lugar kung saan patuloy pa rin tayong nakakasabat ng mga ilegal [na] droga, meaning nariyan pa rin ang supply at ‘yung presensya ng high-value targets (These are the areas where we still confiscate illegal drugs, which means drug supply and high-value targets are still present here),” he said.
The demand for the PNP to equip its personnel with body cameras was triggered by the 2017 killing of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos in a supposed anti-drug operation in Caloocan City. In that operation, police claimed the minor resisted arrest, but security footage in the area showed him being dragged by policemen to the place where he was later executed.
In 2018, the government allotted funds for the purchase of the equipment, but the PNP has yet to select a bidder for the project until now.
Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, PNP officer-in-charge, said the delivery of body cameras may come in the second or third quarter of 2020.
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