Duterte tags reluctant business owners to hand over footages as ‘accessories to the crime’

Oct. 13, 2014

Davao City – Business owners  who are hesitant to hand over closed circuit television (CCTV) footages to authorities might want to think twice after the city mayor pronounced Sunday that they could become accessories to the crime.

During his weekly program, Gikan sa Masa,  Para sa Masa, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said that there “is a law requiring businesses with a certain amount of investment to have CCTV. The purpose was really to help prevent crimes from happening or at least to minimize crimes because of the realization that someone is watching.”

Two years ago, the CCTV ordinance was approved by the city council.  The ordinance requires all establishments “whether commercial, industrial or financial” institutions with a minimum capital of three million pesos to install CCTV cameras in public and common area.

Police authorities, however, complained that business owners are not willing to hand over footages.

“So what’s the purpose of the ordinance? What’s the purpose of the CCTV hanging over the walls,” Duterte asked.

“When you place the camera there in obedience to an ordinance, I do not need to provide implementing rules. When police authorities arrive you give them (the footages). Do know why? Because it is the government that ordered you to place CCTV so that we can get something from it when a crime occurs,” he said.

Duterte also issued Executive Order (EO) No. 24  September 20 last year for business establishments to: install, operate and maintain high end and high definition closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras positioned within eye level of an average-height person; subject every individual to a bodily search/inspection, particularly those wearing caps and sunglasses with dark lenses; and install CCTV cameras at the entrance and exit points of each of the movie houses, common hallways leading to all comfort rooms.

A stern warning of suspension and/or revocation of business permits and closure of establishments are reserved for those who will not comply with the provisions of the EO.

The order came within a week following the simultaneous bombings in the cinemas of two big malls in the city  September 16 last year.

The mayor said that he told the business owners that if they refuse to give CCTV footages they are “suppressing evidence”.

“Because the very reason why you have placed the camera there is because of the desire of the government to protect people and property. Now if the criminal was able to go scot-free because you did not provide the footage you automatically become an accessory to the crime of theft or robbery,” Duterte said.

“As a mayor, I will get angry at you and I will cancel your business permit and close your establishment because you allow disorder in the city,” he said.(davaotoday.com)

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