Isang polisiya na may disiplina, kaakibat ng paggamit ng body camera, ang sagot ng administrasyong Lacson sa pagtigil sa extra-judicial killings at mga maling gawain ng ilan sa mga abusadong pulis.
“One word – Discipline. Disiplinahin natin ang uniformed services. Nagsisimula ang abuso kung nawala ang disiplina sa PNP, AFP and uniformed services,” ani Senador Ping Lacson nitong Huwebes sa lingguhang LACSON-SOTTO Meet the Press media forum.
A policy of discipline, backed by the use of body cameras, will be the answer of the Lacson administration in stopping extra-judicial killings and other abuses by rogue members of the Philippine National Police.
“One word – Discipline. Disiplinahin natin ang uniformed services. Nagsisimula ang abuso kung nawala ang disiplina sa PNP, AFP and uniformed services (One word – discipline. We will ensure discipline in our uniformed services. Abuses start when discipline is lost in the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and uniformed services),” Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson stressed on Thursday at the weekly LACSON-SOTTO Meet the Press media forum.
Sa harap ng umiinit na kontrobersiya sa isang anti-drug operation sa Laguna, ipinanawagan ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang pagpapabilis sa proseso para makumpleto na at ganap nang magamit ang mga body cameras na inilaan para sa mga operatiba ng Philippine National Police (PNP).
Nadamay at napatay sa nabanggit na operasyon ang isang 16-taong gulang na tinedyer na ayon sa mga kaanak ay sadyang pinatay at ikinatuwiran naman ng mga pulis na ito ay nanlaban.
“The killing of a minor in a recent PNP drug bust operation and the subsequent ‘he says, she says’ conflicting versions of the story should prod the PNP to fast-track the procurement of more body cameras and require all their personnel deployed in field operations,” banggit ni Lacson.
Bukod sa naturang panawagan, umaasa rin si Lacson – na namuno sa PNP noong 1999 hanggang 2001 – na sa pinakamaagang panahon ay maglalabas ng patakaran ang Korte Suprema sa paggamit ng body cameras na magpapatigil sa pagbabatuhan ng kamalian at pangangatuwiran para palabasin na sila ang tama, sa pagitan ng mga operatiba at grupo o indibiduwal na target ng operasyon.
Amid the controversy involving the killing of a minor in an anti-drug operation in Laguna, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Monday pushed for the fast-tracking of the procurement and deployment of body cameras for Philippine National Police operatives in the field.
Lacson, who headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001, also hopes the Supreme Court would issue soonest the guidelines for the use of the body cameras, which he said will lessen the “he said, she said” situation where various parties insist on conflicting versions of what happened.
“The killing of a minor in a recent PNP drug bust operation and the subsequent ‘he says, she says’ conflicting versions of the story should prod the PNP to fast-track the procurement of more body cameras and require all their personnel deployed in field operations,” he said.
“We hope the Supreme Court would issue soonest the guidelines and protocols for the use of the body cameras based on established jurisprudence that defines ‘reasonable expectation of privacy test’ – which will be a major asset to our law enforcers as well as improved protection of civilians against police abuses,” he added.
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.” According to the High Court, the test determines whether a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and whether the expectation has been violated.
I happen to know this from institutional memory when I 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.
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.
In an interview with media after the hearing, Sen. Lacson also cited other preventive measures such as joint operations, and closer coordination with the judiciary in destroying illegal drugs seized as evidence.