The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Western Visayas has distributed body-worn cameras to its provincial offices for operatives to wear during anti-drug operations.
“We at the PDEA and the Philippine National Police, we opt for transparency and legitimacy of our anti-drug operations, so there is no reason for us not to use the required body-worn cameras,” PDEA-6 director Alex Tablate said yesterday.
Tablate said they have issued a directive to implement Supreme Court Circular 21-06-08 released on June 29, 2021, on the “approved rules of the use of body-worn cameras” in the execution of warrants.
The use of body cameras is mandatory when operatives serve arrest and search warrants, he said, adding that this also applies to warrantless arrests, such as the conduct of checkpoints and buy-bust operations, “as far as practicable.”
In the case of buy-bust operations, the use of a body camera would be too obvious while an agent makes a transaction, Tablate said, noting that the subjects of buy-busts are “very sensitive” and it would be impossible for them not to know if the agent is wearing one.
The option, he said, is for the immediate arresting officers to wear the body cameras.
The Legal and Prosecution Unit of the PDEA gathered its personnel from its provincial offices in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental and the regional operations division through a virtual platform Thursday for a thorough discussion of the SC issuance to further strengthen its implementation.
Meanwhile, joint elements of the PDEA Negros Occidental Provincial Office and PDEA-6 Airport Interdiction Unit conducted K9 inspections at the passenger terminal building of the Bacolod-Silay Airport and its cargo warehouse Thursday.
With the aid of “Loppy”, the Narcotics Detection Dog of PDEA-NOCPO, the passengers and their personal items were screened and inspected at the terminal, a press release said.
The operation yielded negative for the presence of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors, or essential chemicals, the PDEA said.
NDD “Allaine”, meanwhile, assisted in checking the parcels and packages in the warehouse.
The operation was done to ensure that no prohibited drugs are transported in and out of the province of Negros Occidental.*