|Photo by Medical Action Group|
June 26 Declaration on the Fight against Torture Impunity in the Philippines
The undersigned participants of the Forum-Dialogue, “End Torture in the Philippines” held at the InterContinental Hotel in Makati City, Philippines on June 26, 2014, International Day in Support of Victims of Torture have adopted the following:
1. That torture is one of the most serious violations of human rights; it destroys dignity, body and mind and has far reaching effect on family and community; freedom from torture is enshrined in various international human rights instruments and national laws; and prohibition of torture is absolute and can never be justified in any circumstance or “non-derogable”;
Bearing in mind,
2. That crime of torture is committed against men, women and children. In most cases, torture perpetrators go unpunished;
3. That impunity is the failure of the authorities to fully investigate violations; to bring to justice and punish perpetrators; to provide victims with effective remedies; and to take all necessary steps to prevent the violation to happen again;
4. That Republic Act No. 9745 otherwise known as the Anti-Torture Law criminalizes torture and covers various issues relevant to ensuring accountability of perpetrators and redress for torture survivors including provisions of medical examination, legal assistance, command responsibility; and rehabilitation for torture victims and their families;
5. That ending torture impunity, all allegations of torture should be investigated promptly, effectively and impartially, and that the perpetrators are prosecuted and convicted; and
6. That strong and active partnership between and among the Civil Society Organizations, government, diplomatic community and the Commission on Human Rights are key elements in providing leadership to address the highly challenging task of ensuring effective and systematic implementation of the Anti-Torture Law and in ending torture impunity in the Philippines.
Signed on 26th of June 2014 during the commemoration of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.