God is watching above.
If the head of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Drug Enforcement Group (DEG) will have his way, police operatives should not be required to wear body cameras during ant-drug raids, buy-bust and other operations.
In trying to justify his opinion which, according to him, is only his personal opinion and not the official position of the PNP, Director Chief Superintendent Joseph Adnol said that policemen need not use body cams because it is enough that God is watching over them.
“For me, there really is no need for a body cam, our camera as policemen is God, ‘yun ang pinaka-camera natin na tinitingnan tayo,” Adnol said.
Adnol gave this “personal opinion” a day after President Rodrigo Duterte announced in public that he ordered the PNP back in his administration’s bloody and notorious anti-drug war campaign.
The was PNP was originally at the frontline of the said campaign. But because of the unabated drug-related killings, Duterte suddenly turned over the task of waging said war to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Political analysts said that the drug-related killings which were condemned by the Catholic Church and other religious groups, human rights groups and international media entities have largely contributed in the dwindling down of Duterte’s popularity and satisfactory ratings.
Worthy of special mention is the murder execution style of teens in Kalookan City which ignited a widespread public outrage and indignation. Also, video footages of the October 11, 2017 raid in Tondo, Manila showing some questionable and unlawful practices of policemen during operations surfaced when Reuters got a copy of the said footages.
In our previous article Caught On Cam: Police Murdering Citizens, we described the videos as “the most truthful documentation that extrajudicial killings exist under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.”
Hence, the move to turnover the anti-drug campaign from PNP to PDEA is perceived by observers as more of a political move and not as a legitimate response to this pressing concern. It is meant to stop not the killings but president’s decreasing survey numbers.
However, after almost two months, the president ordered the PNP to retake the primary duty of fighting the drug menace.
In order to deter extrajudicial killings of drug suspects, it was suggested that policemen wear body cameras during operations.
But Adnol, beside from invoking God, stressed that the use of cameras are “not necessary” as they are not part of the “basic police equipage” prescribed by the PNP operations manual.
Instead of requiring cops to use body cams, Adnol urge the public to trust the PNP even if he himself admitted that not all cops are clean.
“For me, personally, we want to show that the people should trust their policemen there is no need for such body cam,” he said.
Can we trust the cops whose members were indicted as primary culprits for the gruesome murders of the likes of Kian Delo Santos, Carl Arnaiz and Reynaldo De Guzman?
Can we trust the PNP after a Korean national was tortured and murdered right inside Camp Crame under the nose of Gen. Rolando “Bato” Dela Rosa?
Can we simply trust the policemen after the death of 14,000 Filipinos pursuant to the administration’s war on drugs?
God is watching and he sees a lot of blood in the hands of public officials waging and supporting Duterte’s drug war.