Taking photos and videos of criminal acts being committed in public does not come with legal repercussions, Integrated Bar of the Philippines president Domingo Cayosa said.
A fatal shooting committed by a cop against his unarmed neighbors in Tarlac was caught on video and stirred public outrage.
Cayosa acknowledged the Philippine National Police’s discouragement on documenting crime incidents was premised on ensuring the safety of the witnesses. But he said authorities can only remind the public for their safety but not prevent them from documenting criminal acts.
The public was reminded not to hamper the operation of authorities exercising their mandate in responding to situations.
PNP chief General Debold Sinas discouraged witnesses to take photos and videos during crime incidents, saying this may put their lives at risk.
Akbayan Chair Emeritus Etta Rosales, however, saw this advice as a “veiled threat to silence all witnesses to police atrocities.”