Lacson gives PNP advise on privacy issues involving use of body cameras

Robie de Guzman   •   May 4, 2021   •   313

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday advised the Philippine National Police (PNP) to read up on a Supreme Court ruling to address the privacy issues it is facing on the use of body cameras for its personnel.

“If the Philippine National Police leadership has privacy concerns over the use of body cameras for police personnel, I would suggest that it direct the PNP Legal Service to read the Supreme Court ruling on Ople vs Torres (GR No 127685), regarding ‘reasonable expectation of privacy test,’” Lacson said in a statement.

“According to the High Court, the test determines whether a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and whether the expectation has been violated,” he added.

Lacson said he knows this from institutional memory when he was being interpellated by Sen. Leila de Lima on the bill amending Republic Act 4200, otherwise known as the Anti-Wiretapping Act, involving the issue of an individual’s right to privacy.

“For example, a CCTV camera installed in a public place may be a good source of evidence since a malefactor captured by the camera while committing a crime will fail the ‘reasonable expectation of privacy test.’ The same is true with the body camera,” he said.

“Either way, the policeman committing an abuse in the exercise of his duties as well as the crime offender cannot use the “right to privacy” as their defense since either of them will fail the test,” he added.

Lacson, a former PNP chief, gave the advise in response to the PNP’s earlier statement that the use of body cameras in police operations have been delayed as protocols are not yet completed.

PNP Directorate for Logistics director Major General Angelito Casimiro said the body cameras have already been distributed to major police stations in Metro Manila but it could not be used yet in operations as they are still trying to address possible privacy issues when presenting the videos as evidence in court.

PNP chief orders cops to ensure orderly voter’s registration as deadline nears

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar on Friday directed police personnel to ensure the implementation of peace and order, and public health protocols in various sites as the deadline for the voter’s registration nears.

Eleazar issued the directive following reports of crowding and long lines in registration sites with only one week left before the registration closes.

He said police commanders should deploy enough number of personnel in various COMELEC registration sites to ensure the peaceful conduct of registration amid the threat of COVID-19.

Local police offices and units should also coordinate with local government units for the assistance they could provide once deployed in various registration sites.

The voter’s registration for the 2022 national and local elections is set to end on Sept. 30.

There have been calls and bills filed before the Congress to extend it until October, but the Comelec has yet to decide on the matter.

Duterte asks PNP, AFP to deploy medical personnel to hospitals needing more staff

Robie de Guzman   •   September 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has asked the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to prepare for the deployment of their medical personnel to hospitals that are in need of additional manpower.

“Kung wala nang iba, ‘yung mga nurses sa pulis marami yan, pati sa medical corps ng army. I have to use a little of my influence sa kanila to convince them,” Duterte said in a taped public address aired late Wednesday.

“Please place your human resources on ready, on deck because talagang alam mo yun lang madali kong maasahan,” he added.

Duterte issued the statement after receiving reports that a lot of medical personnel, particularly in St. Luke’s Medical Center were unable to go on duty due to COVID-19 infection.

The AFP said it has started deploying a number of its personnel to some hospitals in Metro Manila as it continues look for more nurses from its ranks.

The PNP, for its part, said it is currently accounting the number of its medical teams that could be deployed to assist medical workers amid rising cases of COVID-19.

PH police receive anti-terrorism equipment, vehicles from US

Robie de Guzman   •   September 23, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – The United States Embassy has turned over various police equipment to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The PNP said it has received the donated equipment and vehicles which are aimed at providing further assistance in combatting terrorism and improve the security in the country.

The donations, through the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Office of Anti-Terrorism Assistance led by Regional Security Officer of US Embassy Stephen Lesniak, were turned over to the PNP at its headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Thursday.

The donated items include 18 sets of Cellebrite and 57 units of laptop computers, which were given to the PNP Anti-Cyber Crime Group (ACG); and four units of Ford Ranger, six units of Bomb Suit, 5 units Logo scanner and veterinary equipment/aircon/ clinic renovation were given to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal K9 Group EOD/K9.

The US also turned over one unit of Ford Ranger, six units of Harris radio, tactical medicine kits, crisis response team equipment, advance crisis response team equipment and first response to medical stabilization kits to the Special Action Force.

“On behalf of the chief of the Philippine National Police, PGen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, I would like to express our sincerest appreciation to the United States for yet another gesture of generosity and for unwavering support to the PNP. These police equipment will surely beef-up the counter-terrorism capabilities of the PNP,” PNP Logistics Director Police Major General Angelito Casimiro said in a statement.

“While the security and welfare of the people rely in the number of police officers in the field, we are also putting more teeth to better deliver efficient and effective police service across the country with the help of our stakeholders and partners like the US Embassy. Thus, this kind of gesture strengthens the capacity of every police officer by upgrading their equipment for effective police operations,” he added.

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