[Action Alert] Curfew violators in San Isidro, Paranaque City were allegedly arbitrarily arrested and detained and tortured by members of the police with the knowledge of Barangay Captain Noel Japlos -TFDP

Action Alert
March 26, 2020

(Philippines) Curfew violators in San Isidro, Paranaque City were allegedly arbitrarily arrested and detained and tortured by members of the police with the knowledge of Barangay Captain Noel Japlos

Dear Friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is forwarding to you an appeal regarding the alleged practice of arbitrary detention and torture of curfew violators in Barangay San Isidro, Paranaque City by alleged members of the Philippine National Police and under the direction of Barangay Captain Noel Japlos.

Case Title: Curfew Violators in San Isidro, Paranaque City ARD, TOR
Case: ARD, TOR
Date of Incident: From March 15, 2020 (start of community quarantine implementation in Metro Manila)
Place of Incident: Barangay San Isidro, Paranaque City
Alleged Perpetrators: members of the Philippine National Police and under the direction of Barangay Captain Noel Japlos
Motive: Strict implementation of the enhanced community quarantine by the Philippine Government to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 virus

ACCOUNT OF THE INCIDENT:

On March 24, 2020, photos of alleged curfew violators being exposed under the scorching heat of the sun were circulated online. The photos that circulated by ABS CBN News and RAPPLER were allegedly grabbed from the Facebook Account of San Isidro, Paranaque City Barangay Chairperson Noel Japlos.

According to Rappler, the barangay’s Facebook post, as of the morning of March 24, warned that persons who will be caught violating the curfew will also be made to sit under the sun.

The curfew ordinance of Paranaque City signed on March 15 did not give authority to members of the Barangay and the PNP to willfully detain curfew violators, but instead ensure that they are “directed to return to their respective residences, dwelling, or usual place of resting”.

The ordinance also clarified that an arrest could only be made if there is a “deliberate or willful refusal to comply with the lawful order of the public officer”.

Their alleged practice of placing alleged curfew violators under the heat of the sun further exacerbates risks on the health of the alleged offenders, as they may suffer from heatstroke.

The Anti-Torture Act of 2009 also defines physical torture as “a form of treatment or punishment inflicted by 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.”

Prior to this incident, Barangay Chair Japlos had also posted videos of him warning residents of arrest should they violate the enhanced community quarantine. He also posted images of their operations against residents who earlier violated the curfew.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write a letter to the following authorities, urging them to stop the practice of arbitrary detention and torture of curfew violators in Barangay San Isidro, Paranaque City and initiate inquiries in the possibility of human rights violations allegedly committed by the Philippine National Police and Barangay Chairman Noel Japlos.

A. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of the alleged violators of the curfew.

B. Ensure that all those who participated and were responsible for the arbitrary arrest and detention and torture be brought to justice.

C. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the 1987 Philippine Constitution, international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by the Philippines, especially in this trying times of the COVID 19 Pandemic.

Please send your letters:
1. His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte
President, Republic of the Philippines
New Executive Building, Malacanang Palace Compound
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila
1005 Philippines
Tel: +632 87368645; +632 87368603; +632-87368606; +632-87368629; +632-87368621
Telefax: +632 87368621
E-mail: pcc@malacanang.gov.ph

2. Hon. Menardo Guevarra
Secretary, Department of Justice (DOJ)
Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila
1000 Philippines
Tel: +632 85218348
Telefax: +632 85262618
Trunkline: +632 85238481 loc 217
Email: osecmig@gmail.com, communications@doj.gov.ph

3. Hon. Eduardo Aňo
Secretary, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
DILG-NAPOLCOM Center
EDSA corner Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
Tel: +632 89250330; +632 89250331
Fax: +632 89250332
Trunkline: +632 88763454 loc 1001
Email: emano@dilg.gov.ph

4. Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
Philippines
Tel: +632 89285655; +632 89266188
Telefax: +632 89290102
Email: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com

5. PNP Chief Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa
Philippine National Police
PNP National Headquarters
Camp General Crame, EDSA
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines 1100
Tel: +632 87230401; +632 87220650 local 3453/3473

6. Mayor Edwin D. Olivarez
Mayor, Paranaque City
Paranaque City Hall
San Antonio Valley 1
Brgy. San Antonio, Paranaque City
Tel: +63 2 8820 7783

Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/abscbnNEWS/posts/10158129836375168

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