Sunday, January 10, 2010

[REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9745] AN ACT PENALIZING TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN AND DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT AND PRESCRIBING PENALTIES THEREFOR

H. No. 5709
S. No. 1978
Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines
Metro Manila
Fourteenth Congress
Third regular session

Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-seventh
day of July, two th9usand nine.

[REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9745]


AN ACT PENALIZING TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL,
INHUMAN AND DEGRADING TREATMENT OR
PUNISHMENT AND PRESCRIBING PENALTIES
THEREFOR

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. Short Title. - This Ad shall be known as
the "Anti-Torture Act of 2009".

SEC. 2. Statement of Policy. - It is hereby declared the
policy of the State:
(a) To value the dignIty of every human person and
guarantee full respect for human rights;
(b) To ensure that the human rights of all persons,
including suspects, detainees and prisoners are respected at all
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times; and that no person placed under investigation or held in
custody of any person in authority or, agent of a personm authority
shall be subjected to physical, psychological or mental harm, force,
violence, threat or intimidation or any act that impairs his/her
free wi11 or in any manner demeans 6r degrades human dignity;
(c) To ensure that secret detention places, solitary,
incommunicado or other similar forms of detention, where torture
may be carried out with impunity, are prohibited; and
(d) To fully adhere to the principles and standards on the
absolute condemnation and prohibition oftorlure as provided for
in the 1987 Philippine Constitution; various international
instruments to which the Philippines is a State party such as, but
not limited to, the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights (ICCPR), the Convention on the Rights ofthe Child (CRC),
the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
Against Women (CEDA W) and the Convention Against Torture
and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
(CAT); and all other relevant international human rights
instruments to which the Philippines is a signatory.

SEC. 3. Definitions. - For purposes of this Act, the
following terms shall mean:
(a) "Torture" refers to an act by which severe pain or
suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted
on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him/her or a
third person information or a confession; punishing hlmlher for
an act he/she or a third person has committed or is suspected of
having committed; or intimidating or coercing rumlher or a third
person; or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind,
when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of
or with the consent or acquiescence of a person in authority or
agent of a person in authority. It does not include pain or Buffering
arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
(b) "Other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or
punishment" refers to a deliberate and aggravated treatment or
punishment not enumerated under Section 4 oHhis Act, inflicted
by a person in authority or agent of a person in authority against
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a person under hislher custody, which attains a level of severity
causing suffering, gross humiliation or debasement to the latter.
(c) nVictimti refers to the person subjected to torture or
other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment
as defined above and any individual who has suffered harm as a
result of any act(s) of torture, or other cruel, inhuman and
degrading treatment or punishment.
Cd) "Order of Battle" refers to any document or
determination made by the military, police or any law enforcement
agency of the government, listing the names of persons and
organizations that it perceives to be enemies of the State and that
it considers as legitimate targets as combatants that it could deal
with, through the use of JJ;).cans allowed by domestic and
international law .

SEC. 4. Acts of Torture. - For purposes of this Act, torture
shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) Physical torture is a form of treatment or pumshment
inflicted by a person in authority or agent of a person in authority
upon another in his/her custody that causes severe pain,
exhaustion, disability or dysfunction of one or more parts of the
body, such as:
(1) Systematic beating, headbanging, punching, kicking,
striking with truncheon or rifle butt or other similar objects, and
jumping on the stomach;
(2) Food depnvation or forcible feeding with spoiled food,
animal or human excreta and other stuff or substances not
normally eaten;
(3) Electric shock;
(4) CIgarette burning; burning by electrically heated rods,
hot oil, acid; by the rubbing of pepper or other chemical substances
on mucous membranes, or acids or spices directly on the wound(s);
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(5) The submersion of the head in water or water polluted
with excrement, urine, vomit andlor blood until the brink of
suffocation;
(6) Being tied or forced to assume fixed and stressful bodily
position;
(7) Rape and sexual abuse, including the insertion of
foreign objects into the sex organ or rectum, or electrical torture
of the genitals;
(8) Mutilation or amputation of the essential parts of the
body such as the genitalia, ear, tongue, etc.;
(9) Dental torture or the forced extraction of the teeth;
(10) Pulling out of fingern~ils;
(11) Harmful exposure to the elements such as sunlight
and extreme cold;
(J 2) The use of plastic bag and other materials placed over
the head to the point of asphyxiation;
(13) The use of psychoactive drugs to change the perception,
memory. alertness or will of a person, such as:
(i) The administration or"drugs to induce confession
and/or reduce mental competency; or
(ii) The use of drugs to induce extreme pain or certain
symptoms of a disease; and
(14) Other analogous acts of physical torture; and
(b) "Mental/Psychological Torture" refers to acts
committed by a person in authority or agent of a person in
authority which are calculated to affect or confuse the mind
and/or undermine a person's dignity and morale, such as:
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(1) Blindfolding;
(2) Threatening a person(s) or lusfher relative(s) wIth bodily
harm, execution or other wrongful acts;
(3) Confmement in solitary cells or secret detention places;
(1) Prolonged interrogatron;
(5) Preparing a prisoner for a "show tnal", public display
or public humiliation of a detainee or prisoner;
(6) Causing unscheduled transfer of a person deprived of
liberty from one place to another, creating the belief that he/she
shall be summarily executed;
(7) Maltreating a member/s of a person's family;
(8) Causing the torture sessions to be witnessed by the
person's family, relatives or any third party;
(9) Denial of sleep/rest;
(10) Shame infliction such as strippmg the person naked,
parading himlher in public places, shaving the victim's head or
putting marks on hislher body against his/her will;
(ll) Deliberately prohiblting the vlctim to communicate
with any member of his/her family; and
(12) Other analogous acts of mental/psychological torture.
SEC. 5. Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment
or Punishment. - Other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
or punishment refers to a deliberate and aggravated treatment
or punishment not enumerated under Section 4 of this Act,
inflicted by a person in authority or agent of a person in authority
against another person in custody, which attains a level of severity
sufficient to cause suffering, gross humiliation or debasement to
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the latter. The assessment of the level of severity shall depend on
• all the circumstances of the case, including the duration of the
treatment or punishment, its physical and mental effects and, in
some cases, the sex, religion, age and state of health of the victim.

SEC. 6. Freedom from Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, An Absolute
Bight. - Torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading
treatment or punishment as criminal acts shall apply to all
circumstances. A state of war or a threat of war, internal political
instability, or any other public emer.gency, or a document or any
determination comprising an "order of batt leu shall not and can
never be invoked as a justification for torture and other cruel,
inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.

SEC. 7. Prohibited Detention. - Secret detention places,
solitary confinement, incommunicado or other similar forms of
detention, where torture may be carried out with impunity. are
hereby prohibited.
In which caBe, the Philippine National Police (PNP), the
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other law enforcement
. agencies concerned shall make an updated list of all detention
centers and facilities under their respective jurisdictions with
the corresponding data on the prisoners or detainees incarcerated
or detained therein such as, among others, names, date of arrest
and incarceration, and the crime or offense committed. Thislist
shall be made available to the public at all times, with a copy of
the complete list available at the respective national headquarters
ofihe PNP andAFP. A copy of the complete list shall likewise
be submitted by the PNP, AFP and all other law enforcement
agencies to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), such list
to be periodically updated, by the same agencies, within the first
five (5) days of every month at the minimum. Every regional
office of the PNP, AFP and other law enforcement agencies shall
also maintain a similar list far all detainees and detention facilities
within their respective areas, and shall make the same available
to the public at all times at their respective regional headquarters,
and submit a copy. updated in the same manner provided above,
to the respective regional offices of the eRR.
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SEC. 8. Applicability of the Exclusionary Rule; Exception.
- Any confesslOn, admission or statement obtained as a result of
tortlU'e shall be inadmissible in evidence in any proceedings, except
if the same is used as evidence agamst a person or persons accused
of committing torture.

SEC. 9. Institutional Protection of Torture Victims and
Other Persons Involved. - A victim of torture shall have the
following rights in the mstitution of a criminal complaint for
torture:
(a) To have a prompt and an impartialluvestigation by
the CHR and by agencies of government concerned such as the
Department of Justice (DOJ), the PubhcAttorney's Office (PAO),
the PNP, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the
AFP. A prompt investigation shall mean a maximum period of
sixty (60) working days from the time a complaint for torture is
filed within which an investigation report and/or resolution shall
be completed and made avrulable. An appeal whenever available
shall be resolved within the same period prescribed herein,
(b) To have sufficient government protection against all
forms of harassment; threat and/or intimidation as a consequence
of the filing of said complaint or the presentation of evidence
therefor. In which case, the State through its appropriate agencies
shall afford security in order to enSlll'e hisJher safety and all other
persons involved in the investigation and prosecution such as,
but not limited to, hislher lawyer, witnesses and relatives; and
(c) 'fo be accorded sufficient protection in the manner by
which he/she testifies and presents evidence in any fora in order
to avoid further trauma.

SEC. 10. Disposition of Writs of Ifabeas Corpus, Amparo
and Habeas Data Proceedings and Compliance with a Judicial
07'der. - A writ of habeas corpus or writ of amparo or writ of
habeas data proceeding, if any, filed on behalf of the victim of
torture or other cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment or
punishment shall be disposed of expeditiously and any order of
release by vixtue thereof, or other appropriate order of a court
relative thereto, shall be executed or complied with immediately.
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SEC. 11. Assistance in Filing a Complaint. - The CRR
and the PAO shall render legal assistance in the investigation
and monitoring andlor filing of the complaint for a person who
suffers torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment
or punishment, or for any interested party thereto.
The victim or interested party may also seek legal assistance
from the Barangay Ruman RighteAction Center (BRRAC) nearest
him/her as well as from human rights nongovernment
organizations (NGOs).

SEC. 12. Right to' Physical, Medical and Psychological
Examination. - Before and after interrogation, every person
arrested, detained or under custodial investigation shall have the
right to he informed of hislher right to demand physical
examination by an independent and competent doctor ofhislher
own choice. If such person cannot afford the services ofhislher
own doctor, helshe shall he provided hy the State with a competent
and independent doctor to conduct physical examination. The
State shall endeavor to provide the victim with psychological
evaluation if available under the circumstances. If the person
arrested is a female, she shall be attended to preferably by a
female doctor. Furthermore, any person arrested, detained or
under custodial investigation, including hislher immediate family,
shall have the right to immediate access to proper and adequate
medical treatment.
The physical examination andlor psychological evaluation
of the victim shall be contained in a medical report, duly signed
by the attending physician, wbich shall include in detail hislher
medical history and findings, and which shall he attached to the
custodial investigation report. Such report shall be considered a
public document.
Following applicable protocol agreed upon by agencies tasked
to conduct physical, psychological and mental examinations, the
medical reports shall, among others, include:
(a) The name, age and address of the patient or victim;
(b) The name and address of the nearest kin oftbe patient
or victim;
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(c) The name and address oHhe person who brought the
patient or victim for physical, psychological and mental
examination, and/or medical treatment;
(d) The nature and probable cause of the patIent or victim's
injury, pain and disease and/or trauma;
(e) The approximate time and date when the injury, pain,
disease andlor trauma was/were sustained;
(1) The place where the injury, pain, disease andior trauma
was/were sustained;
(g) The time, date and nature of treatment necessary; and
(h) The diagnosis, the prognosIs andlor disposition of the
patient.
Any person who does not wish to avail ofthe rights under
this pr<;lvision may knowingly and voluntarily waive such rights
in writing, executed in the presence and assistance of hislher
counsel.

SEC. 13. Who are Criminally Liable. - Any person who
actually participated Or induced another in the commission of
torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or
punishment or who cooperated in the execution of the act of torture
or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment
by previous or sim ultaneous acts shall be liable as principaL
Any superior military, pollee or law enforcement officer or
senior government official who issued an order to any lower
ranking personnel to commit torture for whatever purpose shall
be held equally liable as principals.
The immediate commanding officer of the unit concerned
.ofthe AFP or the immediate senior public official of the PNP and
other law enforcement agencies shall be held liable as a principal
to the crime of torture or other cruel or inhuman and degrading
treatment or punishment for any act or omissIOn, or negligence
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committed by himlher that shall have led, assisted, abetted or
allowed, whether directly or indirectly, the commission thereof
by hislher subordinates. Ifhe/she has knowledge of or, owing to
the circumstances at the time, should have known that acts of
torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or
punishment shall be committed, is being committed, or has been
committed by hislher subordinates or by others within hislher
area of responsibility and, despite such knowledge, did not take
preventive or corrective action either before, during or immediately
after its commission, when helshe has the authority to prevent
or investigate allegations of torture or other cruel, inhuman and
degrading treatment or punishment but failed to prevent or
investigate allegations of such act, whether deliberately or due to
negligence shall also be liable as principals.
Any public officer or employee shall be liable as an accessory
ifhe/she has knowledge that torture or other cruel, inhuman and
degrading treatment or punishment is being committed and
without having participated therein, either as principal or
accomplice, takes part subsequent to its commission in any of
the following manner:
(a) By themselves profiting from or assisting the offender
to profit from the effects of the act of torture or other cruel,
inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment;
(b) By concealing the act of torture or other cruel, inhuman
and degrading treatment or punishment andJor destroying the
effects or instruments thereof in order to prevent its discovery; or
(c) By harboring, concealing or assisting m the escape of
the principal/s in the act of torture or other cruel, inhuman and
degrading treatment or punishment: Provided, That the
accessory acts are done with the abuse of the official's public
functions.

SEC. 14. Penalties. - (a) Thepenaltyofreclusionperpetua
shall be imposed upon the perpetrators of the following acts:
(1) Torture resulting in the death of any person;
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(2) Torture resulting in mutilation;
(3) Torture with rape;
(4) Torture with other forms of sexual abuse and, in
consequence of tortuxe, the victim shall have become insane,
imbecile, impotent, blind or maimed for life; and
(5) Torture committed against children.
(b) The penalty of reclusion temporal shall be imposed on
those who commit any act of mental/psychological torture
resulting in insanity, complete or partial amnesia, fear of
becoming insane or suicidal tendencies of the victim due to guilt,
worthlessness or shame.
(c) The penalty of prision correcdonal shall be imposed
on those who commit any act of torture resulting in psychological,
mental and emotional harm other than those described 1n
paragraph (b) of this section. '
Cd) The penalty of prision mayor in its medium and
maximum periods shall be imposed if, in consequence of torture,
the victim shall have lost the power of speech or the power to
hear or to smell; or shall have lost an eye, a hand, a foot, an arm
or a leg; or shall have lost the use of any such member; Or shall
have become permanently incapacitated for labor.
(e) The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum and
medium periods shall be imposed if, in consequence of torture,
the victim shall have become deformed or shall have lost any
part afhislher body other than those afarecited, ar shall have lost
the use thereof, or shall have been ill or incapacitated for labor
for a period of more than ninety (90) days.
(f) The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum
period to prision mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed
if, in consequence of torture, the victim shall have been ill or
incapacitated for laba~ for mare than thirty (30) days but not
more than ninety (90) days.
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(g) The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum
and medium period shall be imposed if, in consequence of torture,
the victim shall have been ill or incapacitated for labor for thirty
(30) days or less.
(h) The penalty of arresto mayor shall be imposed for acts
constituting cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment as defined in Section 5 of this Act.
(i) The penalty ofprision correccional shall be imposed
upon those who establish, operate and maintain secret detention
places andlor effect or cause to effect solitary confinement,
incommunicado or other similar forms ofprobibited detention as
provided in Section 7 of this Act where torture may be carried out
with impunity.
0) The penalty of arresto mayor shall be imposed upon
the responsible officer!s or personnel of the AFP, the PNP and
other law enforcement agencies for failure to perform hislher duty
to maintain, submit or make available to the public an updated
list of detention centers and facilities with the corresponding data
on the prisoners or detainees incarcerated or detained therein,
pursuant to Section 7 of this Act.

SEC. 15. Torture as a Separate and Independent Crime.
- Torture as a crime shall not absorb or shall not be absorbed by
any other crime or felony committed as a consequence, or as a
means in the conduct or commission thereof. In which case,
torture shall be treated as a separate and independent criminal
act whose penalties shall be imposable without prejudice to any
other crimina] liability provided for by domestic and international
laws.

SEC. 16. Exclusion from the Coverage of Special Amnesty
Law. - In order not to depreciate the crime of torture, persons
who have committed any act of torture shall not benefit from any
special amnesty law or similar measures that will have the effect
of exempting them from any criminal proceedings and sanctions.

SEC. 17. Applicability of Refouler. - No person shall be
expelled, returned or extradited to another State where there are
substantial grounds to believe that such person shall be in danger
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of being subjected to torture. For the purposes of determining
whether such grounds exist, the Secretary of the Department of
Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Secretary of the DOJ, in
coordination with the Chairperson of the CHR, shall take into
account all relevant considerations including, where applicable
and not limited to, the existence in the requesting State of a
consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human
rights.

SEC. 18. Compensation to Victims of Torture. - Any
person who has suffered torture shall have the right to claim for
compensation as provided for under Republic Act No. 7309:
Provided, That in no case shall compensation be any lower than
Ten thousand pesos (pIO,OOO.OO). Victims of torture shall also
have the right to claim for compensatlOn from such other financial
relief programs that may be made available to him/her under
existing law and rules and regulations.

SEC. 19. Formulation of a Rehabilitation Program.
Within one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act, the Department
of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the DOJ and the
Department ofRealth (DOH) and such other concerned govermnent
agencies, and human rights organizations shall formulate a
comprehensive rehabilitation program for victims of torture and
their families. The DSWD, the DOJ and thc DOH shall also call
on human rights nongovernment organizatIOns duly recognized
by the government to actively participate in the formulation of
such program that shall provide for the physical, mental, social,
psychological healing and development of victims of torture and
their families. Toward the attainment of restorative justice, a
parallell'ehabilitation program for persons who have committed
torture and other cruel, inhuman and degradmg punishment shall
likewise be formulated by the same agencies.

SEC. 20. Monitoring of Compliance with this Act. - An
Oversight Committee is hereby created to periodically oversee
the implementation ofthis Act. The Committee shall be headed
by a Commissioner of the CRR, with the following as members:
the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human
Rights, the respective Chairpersons of the House of
Representatives' Committees on Justice and Human Rights, and
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the Minority Leaders of both houses or thelr respective
representatives in the minority.

SEC. 21. Education and Information Campaign. - The
CHR, the DOJ, the Department of National Defense (DND), the
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and
such other concerned parties in both the public and private sectors
shall ensure that education and information regarding prohibition
against torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading
treatment or punishment shall be fully included in the training
oflaw enforcement personnel, civil or military, medical personnel,
public officials and other persons who may be involved in the
custody, interrogation or treatment of any individual subjected
to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment. The
Department of Education (DepED) and the Commission on Higher
Education (CHED) shall also ensure the integration of hUrrian
rights education courses in all primary, secondary and tertiary
level academic institutions nationwide.

SEC. 22. Applicability of the Revised Penal Code. - The
provisions ofthe Revised Penal Code insofar as they are applicable
shall be suppletory to this Act. Moreover, if the commission of
any crime punishable under Title Eight (Crimes Against Persons)
and Title Nine (Crimes Against Personal Liberty and Security)
of the Revised Penal Code is attended by any of the acts
constituting torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading
treatment or punishment as defined herein, the penalty to be
imposed shall be in its maximum period.

SEC. 23. Appropriations. - The amount of Five million
pesos (Php5,OOO,OOO.OO) is hereby appropriated to the CHR for
the initial implementation of tills Act. Thereafter, such sums as
may be necessary for the continued implementation of this Act
shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

SEC. 24. Implementing Rules and Regulations. - The
DOJ and the CHR, with the active participation of human rights
nongovernmental organizations, shall promulgate the rules and
regulations for the effective implementation of tills Act. They
shall also ensure the full dissemination of such rules and
regulations to all officers and members of various law enforcement
agencies.
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SEC. 25. Separability Clause. - If any provision of this
Act is declared invalid or unconstitutional, the other provisions
not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect.

SEC. 26. Repealing Clause. - All laws, decrees, executive
orders or rules and regulations contrary to or inconsistent with
the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified
accordingly.

SEC. 27. Effectivity. - ThlS Act shall take effect fifteen
(15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least
two (2) newspapers of general circulatIOn.

Approved,
This Act which is a consolidation of House Bill No. 5709 and
Senate Bill No. 1978 was finally passed by the House of
Representatives and the Senate on September 2,2009.

SGD.EMMA LIRIO REYES
Secretary of the Senate

SGD.MARILYN B. BARUA-YAP
Secretary General
House of Representatives

Approved: NOV 10, 2009
SGD.GLOIA MACAPAGAL~ARROYO
President of the Philippines
o

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