What do you do when the police stop you from filming them?


I was invited to the Peace and Order Forum hosted by the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. in cooperation with the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order, the National Capital Region Police Office, and the Manila Police District. One of the panelists was NCRPO director Chief Superintendent Oscar Albayalde, who answered questions about safety and security.

On the subject of being searched without a warrant, he said, “… kung merong pulls na pumunta sa ‘yo, it is your right to know kung sino yung police na yun. Kailangan magpakilala young police na gun. Tanungin kung sino siya, saan siya naka-assign. Otherwise, kung di niya masabi kung saan siya naka-assign, you take a picture of him or her. Meron po tayong cellphone.We will tell it to the Station Commander. Ipapa-identify naming sa Station Commander.”
(If a policeman shows up, it is your right to know who they are. They have to introduce themselves. Ask them who they are and where they are assigned. If they can’t tell you, take a picture of him or her. We have cellphones. We will tell it to the Station Commander. We will have them identified by the Station Commander.”

During the open forum, I asked what we as citizens should do when when the police say we can’t take photos or videos, or try to confiscate the phone or camera. Chief Superintendent Albayalde’s answer:
“Di po pwede yun. I think that’s a violation of your constitutional right, diba? You have all the right to know the identity of the policeman. Kailangan malaman natin yan. Kapag ikaw ay naaresto, the policeman should inform you of your rights. The policeman should inform you of your offense. Kailangan po yun. And the policeman should identify himself properly. Kailangan po yan. Hindi pwedeng hindi. You have to assert your right para to avoid abuse.”

(That’s not allowed. I think that’s a violation of your constitutional rights, right? You have all the right to know the identity of the policeman. We have to know that. If you are arrested, the policeman should inform you of your rights. The policeman should inform yoou of your offense. That is needed. And the policeman should identify himself properly. That is needed. He cannot not do so. You have to assert your right to avoid abuse.)
I followed up with, ‘But what if they use force? What should we do as citizens?’
Chief Superintendent Albayalde’s reply: “You should complain. Di pwede yun. I don’t think they will even use force. Takot yan, eh. Takot yan pagkakasosan. You can identify them sa mga stations. Pwede natin nation patawag yan. Yung time, date, yung stations have their duty logbook, kung sino nakaduty that time, kung scan and area niya. Meron po yan.”
(You should complain. That is not allowed. I don’t think they will even use force. They’re scared. They’re scared they might get charged with a case. You can identify them in the stations. We can have them called in. The time, date, the stations have that in their duty logbook, who was on duty that time, which area they were assigned to. They have that.)

yvetteuytan

Yvette Tan is a multi-awarded author of horror fiction and a lifestyle writer for major local and international titles.

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