After the “Bloody Sunday” raids that resulted in the death of nine activists in Calabarzon, the Supreme Court is considering the proposal to require law enforcers to wear body cameras when serving warrants.
SC spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka announced that magistrates of the High Court said it “considered” the proposal to require law enforcers to have with them body cameras whenever they serve warrants that would promote transparency during their operations and make certain that proper protocols are observed.
It is possible the SC would direct the trial court judges issuing warrants to require law enforcement officers to wear body cameras.
It was Evalyn Ursua, one of the legal counsels of the 37 Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 petitions who urged the SC to require law enforcement officers serving search warrants to wear body cameras following police claims that the nine activists killed in the March 7 raids fought back against the authorities or “nanlaban.”
Because it is difficult to comprehend how people end up being killed by police for allegedly fighting back against supposedly harmless search warrants, body cameras are hoped to give a clearer picture of what transpires when search warrants that are served against activists suddenly transform into death warrants.
It has been a while since the Philippine National Police was supposed to have acquired the body cameras. However, police officers don’t seem to fancy using those gadgets during operations, especially when the suspects are expected to somehow end up dead. Hopefully the Supreme Court can succeed where the leadership of the PNP has failed in ensuring transparency during police operations by mandating the use of body cams and establishing penalties for non-compliance, especially when “uncooperative” Filipinos are hurt or killed. *