The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) welcomes the challenge posed by Police Superintendent Antonio Rivera and Philippine Army 10th Infantry Division Chief Major General Jorge V. Segovia on the issue of torture. TFDP views Rivera’s statement that “…as far as the PNP is concern bawal ang torture sa amo pati sa military especially we have the Anti-Torture Law” as a positive sign that the state authorities are aware that torture should never be used.
The video that came out last year of how a robbery suspect was allegedly being tortured by Sr. Inspector Joselito Binayug now comes to mind.
On the issue of the validity of the reports, we wish to tell the police and the military that since TFDP’s establishment in 1974, it has been a credible source of information on the human rights situation. In fact, the more than 6,000 cases of human rights violations documented by TFDP staff during Martial Law have been instrumental in the decision on the Hawaii class suit filed against the Marcos estate.
The statistics released by TFDP are not mere numbers but actual cases of human rights violations. Each figure represents a specific victim or his/her relative who was actually interviewed by TFDP staff and whose case has been accurately documented.
A case in point is that of the torture of the five suspects in the twin bombings that happened in Davao City. The five were arrested on April 8, 2003 by combined operatives of the Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response (PACER-MOR) and members of the military. They were tortured into admitting the accusation against them. The details of the case are thoroughly narrated in TFDP’s documentation.
TFDP is prepared to have a meeting and dialogue with the police and military regarding the issue of torture and how human rights may be respected, protected, and promoted. They can begin proving their sincerity on the issue of their regard for human rights by delisting me from the Order of Battle (OB) and desisting from monitoring my actions.
June 29, 2011
Rita M. Melecio
Mindanao Team Leader
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
#214 Earth Street, GSIS Heights, Matina, Davao City
Cellphone # 0949-7215341
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