Supreme Court approves rules on use of PNP body cams

Robie de Guzman   •   July 9, 2021   •   514

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has approved the guidelines on the use of body cameras in police operations with an aim to promote transparency and uphold the constitutional rights of individuals.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo said the guidelines will be issued once it has been signed by court justices.

The guidelines would take effect 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette or newspapers of general circulation.

“The court en banc approved already the final draft but of course it will have to be printed in the gilbert, you know that. And its members would have to sign the final resolution. Hopefully, by Friday it will be signed and duly promulgated,” Gesmundo said.

High court justices recently met with PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar to discuss the rules on the use of body cameras when serving arrest, search, and seizure warrants.

In crafting the guidelines, Gesmundo said the court took into account the “delicate balancing act of ensuring an individual’s constitutional rights vis-à-vis arrest, search, and seizure.

“As far as the meeting with PNP is concerned, we clarified that we crafted the rule in such a way that there’s a balancing between the protection of individuals vis a vis constitutional rights and the rules will not hamper the operations of law enforcement agencies,” the chief magistrate said.

“We were both positive in our discussions, in fact, they themselves the PNP has promulgated its own rules on the use of body-worn cameras during their operations. So we are optimistic that something will definitely come out of it to address these current issues on law enforcement operations,” he added.

Gesmundo previously said that the Court will make an arrangement soonest with the Philippine Judicial Academy, the SC’s judicial education arm, to provide the training of all those involved in the implementation of these rules. He added that the PNP may also want to send participants to this training.

Eleazar earlier said that the use of body-worn cameras can guard against incidents of police abuse as the new system allows the PNP Command Center to monitor the actual police operations of all units nationwide.

The cameras are also tamper-proof and cannot be manually turned off by policemen wearing them.

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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