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By Dr. Ramon Ricardo A. Roque, CESOI, Diplomate

Trust is gained. It is not something that can be automatically expected just because one holds a position that should be trusted.

The Director of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Drug Enforcement Group, Chief Superintendent Joseph Adnol maintains that policemen involved in the government’s anti-drug war do not need body cameras as they have God to watch over them and the people just have to trust them.

It appears that Director Adnol does not see why body cameras have now become a necessary part of the basic police equipage particularly for those who are involved in the anti-drug war of the current Administration.

Body cameras are necessary to support the PNP’s position that only those will fight back or threaten the lives of police officers will killed in the anti-drug war. With accusations of extra-judicial killings against the current Administration both here and abroad, it is puzzling why the Director of the PNP’s anti-drug group does not see the value of proving that such accusations are wrong. At the very least, we expect him to see the bigger picture – that what is at stake here is not just the reputation of the PNP but also the success of the current Administration and our country’s image in the international community.

Body cameras should be a required component of the basic equipage of policemen. There is no sense in asserting that they are not necessary because they are not part of what are prescribed in the PNP’s operations manual. Perhaps, Director Adnol needs to be reminded that an operations manual, even of the PNP, is not one that is carved in stone.

It can and it should be changed if change is warranted.

It is also unclear what exactly Director Adnol meant when he said that body cameras are not necessary because God is the policemen’s camera who is watching over them. As he himself admitted that there are rogue policemen, he should not have missed the point that for such scalawags in uniform, God does not matter because if God matters to them, they will be “clean” instead of being “dirty” policemen.

Does Director Adnol honestly believe that the people should just trust our policemen after what happened to Carl Angelo Arnaiz, Kian delos Santos, and Reynaldo de Guzman? Should such trust be automatically given in the midst of the numerous “deaths under investigation”?

The Director of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group needs to be reminded that trust is gained and with the current situation in our country, body cameras have become necessary for the PNP to gain the people’s trust.

The word “trustworthy” exists because one has to prove that he or she is worthy of trust. It cannot be demanded or forced even if you are a policeman.