PDEA now requires use of body camera, bullet-proof vests in anti-drug ops

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said that as far as practicable, the use of body cameras is highly-encouraged and media should be invited to cover anti-drug operations especially for high-impact operations.

However, the PDEA chief has stressed that media personalities joining PDEA agents in anti-illegal drug should participate at their own risk as the agency could not guarantee their own safety.

The guidelines issued in the conduct of anti-drug operations are as follows:
• Agents and witnesses particularly media representatives shall mandatorily wear body cameras;
• All media representatives shall likewise wear bullet-proof vest, ballistic helmets and other protective gears. Their safety and security shall be ensured by the ground commander;
• All media representatives may be allowed to get actual footage of the anti-drug operations and may be allowed to enter target areas simultaneously with the operating units;
• The ground commander shall collect the body cameras after the anti-drug operation;
• The video, or any portion of it, generated during the operation shall never be edited, cut, spliced, or deleted, otherwise, the regional director shall be answerable;
• The media may be provided with the whole video footage upon request; and
• All video footages generated during anti-drug operations must be saved in separate folders in the computer or laptop. The footages shall likewise be archived.

The guidelines were issued to ensure adherence of the operatives to the operational procedures, and to avoid the negative perceptions on the drug operations conducted, Aquino added.

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