Friday, September 3, 2010

Right path also calls for end to rights violations

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:57:00 09/02/2010

Filed Under: Crime, Police, Human Rights, Torture

POLICE AND military torturers must be relieved and punished under Republic Act 9745 or the Anti-Torture Act of 2009.

The cell phone video footage shown in an ABS-CBN newscast about a snatcher being tortured allegedly by a community precinct commander named Senior Insp. Joselito Binayug inside a police station in Tondo, Manila, and the reports on the torture of five suspected rebels (Lenin Salas, Rodwin Tala, Jose Gomez, Daniel Navarro and Jerry Simbulan) in San Fernando, Pampanga, by Supt. Madzgani Mukaram, commander of the police’s provincial public safety company (Inquirer, 08/09/10), are clear violations of RA 9745.

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) expresses outrage over the nonstop use of torture by the police and calls on the government to relieve from their posts all those who have been involved in such a despicable practice. These “criminals in uniform” must be relieved to prevent them from muddling the investigation of their cases.

In another torture case, policemen SPO2 Argie Miraflores (detailed at Regional Intelligence & Detective Management Division, Region XII) and SPO1 Israel Lantingan (detailed at the municipal police station of Alabel, Sarangani province) pressured torture-victim Anuar Hasim into signing an affidavit of desistance without the assistance of a counsel and prior consultation with his family, in an attempt to frustrate the victim’s quest for justice.

These torture incidents also call for the speedy drafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Anti-Torture Act so as to mete out justice to torture victims and immediately remove the sense of impunity that encourages human rights violations.

It is imperative that the Commission on Human Rights fast-track the drafting of the IRR in the face of the continuing assault on the dignity of persons.

Let us remind and instill in the hearts and minds of our security forces that torture is prohibited at all times. This inhuman act has no place in a civilized society. President Aquino should act on such abuses by issuing a policy statement against torture and by making accountable not only corrupt officials but also torturers and other violators of human rights. Sa “Matuwid na daan,” karapatang pantao ay dapat igalang (On the righteous path, human rights should be respected.)

executive director,
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP),
45 St. Mary St., Cubao, Quezon City

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