Solons want 60-day deletion rule for police bodycam footage amended
MANILA, Philippines — After a House inquiry revealed that the Philippine National Police (PNP) deletes body camera footage after 60 days, lawmakers on Tuesday are seeking to amend such procedure.
During a committee hearing on public order and safety, the PNP explained it deletes body camera footage after 60 days, following its protocols.
“Ang mangyayari diyan, kung ide-delete yan after 60 days, yung accountability, and at the same time yung oversight power ninyo para sa mga opisyal natin na nag-aabuso. Hindi na natin ma-check, and that’s the reason why we wanted to delete the 60 days through our bills that we are drafting right now,” said Santa Rosa City, Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez.
(What happens is that if we delete that after 60 days, the accountability and, at the same time, the oversight power for officials may be abused. We cannot check this, and that’s the reason why we wanted to revise the 60-day rule through the bills we are drafting right now.)
Bicol Saro party-list Rep. Brian Yamsuan also pointed out that deleting body camera footage may destroy evidence.
“Kawawa naman yung iba na kailangan yung video tapos na delete niyo na. Kung ito yung magliligtas sa buhay nila sa pagkakakulong nila, tapos wala tayong makukuhang data doon, medyo kawawa naman whether civilian siya o pulis personnel, di ba kasi yung bodycam magbibigay liwanag sa issues na kinakasangkutan nila,” asked Yamsuan.
(Pity those who need the footage only to find out such was deleted. This could save a person’s life, and save him from a prison term, but they can’t get hold of the footage, whether civilian or police personnel. The bodycam footage could shed light on the cases they are involved in.)
The legislators, however, were told that no footage has so far been deleted, as the memory storages were not fully utilized. The amount of storage memory available to body cameras was seven petabytes, equivalent to 7,000,000 gigabytes.
Out of this, only 164,000 gigabytes have been used, Fernandez found out.
Fernandez also questioned why the P330 million budget for body cameras was not fully utilized, to which he was told that the money had reverted to the Bureau of Treasury.