New guidelines 'encourage' police to use body cameras in drug ops

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 23) — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has released new supplemental operational guidelines for anti-illegal drug operations, including the use of body cameras and other recording devices.

"When available, the use of body camera and other gadgets to record all anti-illegal drug operations is encouraged," read the January 19 memorandum signed by PNP chief Dir. Gen. Ronald Dela Rosa.

PNP Spokesperson Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos earlier said wearing body cameras can prevent bloody operations.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has a similar provision in their guidelines.

The new guidelines also require police personnel in drug operations to possess a tickler containing "the unit and individual's functions with daily evaluation and remarks by each PNP personnel."

The memorandum states Injured suspects must also be brought to the hospital for immediate medical treatment while those killed should be subjected to onsite inquest proceedings.

The PNP was heavily criticized for the alleged abuses during anti-drug operations, which included the killing of teenagers Kian Delos Santos, Carl Arnaiz, and Reynaldo de Guzman.

President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier ordered the PDEA to take over the drug war, but eventually allowed the police to once again conduct operations.

Official records state that less than 4,000 drug suspects were killed in legitimate police operations: 34 by PDEA agents and 3,933 by the police.