MANILA - The local government of Caloocan City is planning to purchase body cameras to be used by policemen in anti-crime operations.
“Nakikita doon kung ano talaga ang ginawa nila. Kung tinorture nila 'yung tao, o kung lumalaban. Proteksyon din ng pulis 'yun. Proteksyon ng mamamayan, at proteksyon ng pulis. Hindi sila puwedeng baligtarin,” said Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan.
The Caloocan city government expects the body cameras to be delivered to local police by the end of the year.
The Philippine National Police earlier bared plans to also purchase body cameras for use of officers in operations.
City Hall announced the plan just as the Caloocan City police drew criticism over recent killings of teenagers in police operations, including Kian Loyd Delos Santos, 17, and Carl Angelo Arnaiz, 19.
Their deaths, along with that of 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman, Arnaiz's friend found dead Wednesday in Nueva Ecija with multiple stab wounds, have sparked public outrage.
Delos Santos, who is purportedly involved in drugs, was slain in an anti-drug sweep in the city on Aug. 16, after allegedly shooting at pursuing officers. Arnaiz was meanwhile killed on Aug. 18 when he allegedly robbed a taxi driver, also in Caloocan.
But families of the two teens are calling for justice, asserting that the boys were not involved in crime.
Evidence also suggest the two were murdered as they were shot when already on the ground.
MAYOR ORDERS POLICE RESHUFFLE
Meanwhile, Malapitan also ordered a reshuffle of policemen assigned at the city's Police Community Precincts (PCPs).
“Lalo na 'yung mga more than 2 years na sa kanilang PCP, ilipat na ng ibang PCP para 'yung familiarization sa criminal, kung may proteksyon doon, bagong pulis na ang hahawak sa area na 'yun,” he said.
Also starting Sunday, the city will strictly implement its curfew on minors from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. following the teens' deaths.
Malapitan also met with barangay and police officials Friday night and ordered them to strengthen patrol operations in their respective areas of responsibility.
“I instructed COP (Chief of Police) to create a sariling mobile patrol directly under the supervision of police headquarters. So dodoblehin natin. Papabili pa tayo ng additional 15 units,” he said.
--Report from Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News