Cascolan: 2,600 body cams to be tested in October; anti-drugs ops get priority
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) is expecting the delivery of around 2,600 units of body-worn cameras to be tested this month. Police anti-drug operations will get priority in the distribution of the body cams, the PNP said.
“We have more or less 2,600 units body-worn to be delivered,” PNP Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan in response to the question of former top cop and now Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa during the hearing on the proposed 2021 budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The PNP is an attached agency of the DILG.
The budget for the procurement of the said body cameras is P287 million, the PNP chief said.
Cascolan said the functional testing of the body cameras will start on October 12.
“Anti-drug operations…will be prioritized but the functional testing will still be on October 12, 2020. If the testing evaluation will pass the body cameras, these will be issued to our units in the anti-drug activities,” he added.
Calls for the procurement of body cameras first floated in 2017 following the death of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos, who died in the hands of policemen in what police claimed was an anti-drug operation in Caloocan City.
Police said Delos Santos resisted arrest, but footage from a closed-circuit television in the area showed him being dragged by policemen to a dark alley where he was later killed.
The PNP initially wanted to purchase 12,476 body cameras by June 2018 after it was allotted P334 million to fund the purchase of the gadgets.
In December 2019, the PNP chose EVI Distribution, a San Juan City-based company, as the winning bidder for the body camera system.
The delivery of the body cameras was delayed because of global travel restrictions enforced in light of the pandemic coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
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