A SENATOR has filed a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to use body-worn cameras for special police operations. 

The use of body-worn cameras can speed up the resolution of crimes in the country by providing evidence of the circumstances surrounding the operation conducted,Senator Rafael T. Tulfo said in Senate Bill No. 2199.  

The measure will reinforce a 2021 resolution by the Supreme Court requiring law enforcers to use at least one body-worn camera and one alternative recording device when serving search and arrest warrants as well as during warrantless arrests.   

Under the bill, alternative recording devices may also be used if body-worn cameras are not available, with written authorization from the head of the agency. 

Under to the proposed Body-worn Camera Act, the equipment will be worn during law enforcement operations, including warrants of arrest, implementation of search warrants, visitorial powers of the Philippine National Police chief and unit commanders, as well as operations against illegal activities like drugs, gambling, smuggling, illegal logging, illegal fishing, carnapping, kidnapping, cybercrime.  

The bodycams may also be used in Special Police Operations, including checkpoints, roadblock operations, civil disturbance management operations, demolitions, searching and seizure of on-board marine vessels, and hostage situations, among others.  

Mr. Tulfo assured that the cameras will not be used for intelligence gathering.  

Recordings also cannot be used as a substitute for the presentation of witnesses.  

Corresponding penalties are also provided for violations of the law.   

A similar measure is currently being deliberated at a House committee. Beatriz Marie D. Cruz