Saturday, June 22, 2013

PHILIPPINES: Manila mayor tortures rape suspect in full view of the public — Asian Human Rights Commission

PHILIPPINES: Manila mayor tortures rape suspect in full view of the public — Asian Human Rights Commission

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is demanding an explanation as to why the police did nothing to prevent Manila Mayor, Alfredo Lim, from interrogating and torturing a rape suspect in full view of the public. In this report by the GMA News, about five policemen in uniform, including a senior police officer, were present in front of Mayor Lim as he questions, extracted a confession and forced the suspect to admit he had raped a woman and attempted to rape and rob another.

The transcript from the broadcast of Mayor Lim's questioning clearly breaches the provisions of the Anti-Torture Act of 2009. Under the Anti-Torture Act of 2009, to inflict pain either physical or psychological for purposes of extracting a confession, information and forcing a person to admit to a crime is a criminal offence:

Photo: TV grab from GMA News.

1:04-2:15 (time code)

Mayor Lim: 'diba ikaw ang nang holdap dito? (Isn't it you who rob this woman?)

Suspect: Hindi kami (It is not us)

Mayor Lim: (asking the two complainants) Sino ba ang nang-holdap sa iyo? (Who robbed you?) O, ikaw daw eh! Magsalita ka! (You see, she said it was you!) (Mayor Lim, in yellow dress, was seen pressing the suspect's shoulder hard).

Suspect: Hindi (No, it is not me).

Mayor Lim: Hindi? Ibig mong sabihin nagsisinungaling ito? (No? As you saying the complainants are lying?)

1:28-2:15 (timecode)

Mayor Lim: Totoo 'yung sinasabi n'ya? Ha? (So, what she said is true, right?)

Suspect: Oo. (Yes) (this time it is obvious that the suspect was forced to admit)

Mayor Lim: So, totoo ito inaamin mo na pinagtatangkaan mo. Naholdap eh. Na dadalhin dun sa...para gahasain. (So, you are admitting that you attempted to rape this woman. She was robbed and was attempted to be raped).

The AHRC is shocked, but not surprised, by the inaction of the police and of how Mayor Lim could openly break the law in front of the law enforcement officers. The policemen, including a senior officer, by the uniform he was wearing, did nothing to prevent Mayor Lim from torturing the victim. In a situation where a suspect is questioned in the absence of his legal counsel by an influential politician in front of senior police officers and journalists, it is likely that any suspect would admit to anything.

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