A veteran lawmaker from Valenzuela City lauded the Department of Justice or DoJ for supporting the bills filed before the House of Representatives seeking the mandatory installation of closed-circuit television or CCTV cameras in business establishments.
Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian pointed out that the move of DoJ to back the mandatory installation of CCTV cameras shows its determination to use technology in gathering information in the state’s bid to deter unlawful activities and uphold justice.
Gatchalian, a member of House Committee on Metro Manila Development, also believes that getting the support of DoJ will guarantee the swift passage of bills proposing the mandatory installation of CCTV cameras in public places and private establishments.
“Getting the support of the Department of Justice in our legislation is a step toward harnessing the potential of modern technology in gathering pieces of evidence and intelligence to curb criminality,” Gatchalian said.
On Monday, DoJ Secretary Leila De Lima said there are “no legal or constitutional obstructions” on bills seeking the mandatory installation of CCTV cameras considering that they “protect citizens from evil elements and promote the general welfare.”
The lawmaker issued the statement amid the case of Jeff “Jennifer” Laude, wherein CCTV footage of the bar in Olongapo City helped the authorities to identify the primary suspect, US Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton.
The usage of CCTV, Gatchalian noted, will boost the government’s effort to sack and hasten the trial of suspected criminals as video footages serves as solid evidence in a prosecution.
Gatchalian is the author of House Bill No. 4284 that is in the process of being consolidated together with 11 measures on mandatory CCTV by the technical working group (TWG) organized by Negros Occidental Representative Jeffrey Ferrer.
HB 4242 seeks to mandate the installation of CCTV cameras on business establishments, government offices, public buildings, parks, schools, streets, alleys, and other places of public congregation.
He is also filed HB 3838 which is a separate bill on CCTVs that seeks to provide guidelines for the installation of surveillance cameras and access of captured images.
Both bills are currently filed before the House committee on public order and safety. (Tim Alcantara)