PNP to require body cameras once all police stations have at least one

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa will require its offeicers to wear body cameras only when all police stations have at least one of it.

Sa ngayon di pa natin na-provide lahat ng mga estasyon ng body camera dahil ang body-worn camera in the pipeline pa 'yung procurement…’Pag nandiyan na, ire-require natin lahat ‘yan,” Dela Rosa told reporters on Wednesday, January 24, after a ceremony at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation in Parañaque.

Magkakaron tayo ng policy: No anti-drug operations without body-worn camera na naka-on,” he said.

(Right now, we haven't provided body cameras to all stations because the procurement is still in the pipeline... If it's already there, we will require all of them. We will have a policy: No anti-drug operations without a body-worn camera turned on.)

Last Friday, Dela Rosa signed the anticipated supplemental guidelines for their war on drugs. (READ: PNP to add new drug war rules before resuming Tokhang)

Among the consequential rules was their policy of “encouraging” cops’ use recording devices like body cameras. It ran contrary to his previous pronouncements saying that they should be made mandatory.

Dela Rosa then echoed his Director for Operations Camilo Cascolan, who said that it would be unfair to require them immediately when not all stations have it yet.

You cannot require what you do not provide... 'Wag kang mag-alala, 'wag kang mainip, papunta tayo diyan (Don't worry, don't get bored, we will get to that point),” Dela Rosa said.

In addition to requiring wearing the gadgets, he  signed a "one strike policy" to sack police bosses who have drug-linked subordinates.

It is unclear when they will completely acquire and distribute the gadgets, but the PNP is gunning for having 37,000 cameras rolling for the 190,000-strong police force in 2018. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.