SEN. Sherwin Gatchalian on Saturday said law enforcers should have access “within 24 hours” to closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage or recording of a crime to speed up its investigation and resolution.
He said the timely release of CCTV recordings to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will prevent the tampering of evidence against lawbreakers.
“The use of CCTV footage has become a game-changer in our pursuit of justice for victims of crimes,” said Gatchalian, who is also promoting the wearing of body camera by law enforcers during operations to ensure transparency.
“We must make sure that our law enforcers enjoy the maximum benefits of this technology, and use it to further improve our criminal investigation and prosecution processes,” he said.
The Senator said CCTV access should be granted even in the absence of court approval because, he pointed out, “court proceedings on requests for access to CCTV footages take a long time.”
“If it is clear that a crime has been committed, the police and other persons in authority should have access to the tapes within 24 hours because in filing cases, time and evidence are of essence,” he said.
Gatchalian earlier filed Senate Bill (SB) 988, which seeks to “impose the guidelines in CCTV installation and access to its recordings in order to foster confidence in the use of the system.”
Under SB 988, only authorized persons must be allowed to use, view, copy or disclose images and recordings from CCTV footages, which should be used to “determine whether an offense has been committed against a person or property and to ascertain the identity of the perpetrator and the manner by which the crime was committed.”