MANILA — Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Police Brigadier Gen. Ildebrandi Usana said on March 14, courts can require for publication footage from body cameras of police personnel during operations.

In an interview with Super Radyo dzBB, Usana clarified that the videos are still covered by data privacy law.

“Ang implication po ng paggamit nito ay nasa usapin po ng data privacy po. Ito po ay ituturing na data na ipa-process,”Usana added.

Usana noted that the PNP is eyeing to deploy body cameras during police operations starting April after acquiring 2,600 body cameras.

“Courts have rights to require and make these videos public or submit them for any kind of evidence,” he said.

Previously, PNP Directorate for Logistics Chief Police Major Gen. Angelito Casimiro said 16 body cameras will be provided for each police station, with eight for the operating team.

Casimiro said the body cameras will help counter public doubt arising from alleged irregularities during police operations.

“‘Yung sinasabi po ninyong doubt, ito po ‘yung mag-prove na depensa rin sa amin,” he said, noting the body cameras will be used in the force’s law enforcement and combat operations, particularly during anti-illegal drugs operations.

In another report by GMA News, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told a Palace briefing the PNP will be fully equipped with body cameras during operations by April in a bid to ease the public’s fears over people killed in raids.

“The body cams are there already. Training is ongoing and we expect these body cams to be used by April to erase doubts that the public may have on what really happens during police operations and when somebody dies in those operations,” Roque said, with the announcement coinciding with the ongoing Department of Justice (DOJ) probe on the deaths of nine activists in Calabarzon during police operations last Sunday.

“Kasi ‘yang body cam po ay physical evidence at hindi po magsisinungaling ang physical evidence,” he added.