[Action Alert] Quarantine violators in Bacoor City, Cavite were allegedly arbitrarily arrested, detained and subject to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment by members of the PNP -TFDP

Action Alert

April 3, 2020

(Philippines) Quarantine violators in Bacoor City, Cavite were allegedly arbitrarily arrested, detained and subject to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment by members of the Philippine National Police

Dear Friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is forwarding to you an appeal regarding the alleged practice of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of quarantine violators in Bacoor, Cavite City allegedly by members of the Philippine National Police

ACCOUNT OF THE INCIDENT:

On April 2, 2020, a photo of alleged quarantine violators taken by ABS-CBN reporter Dennis Datu circulated online. Based on a report in Filipinotimes.net, there were 81 residents of Bacoor City who were taken by the Philippine National Police (PNP) into their custody. The residents allegedly violated the enhanced community quarantine being implemented by the Philippine Government to counter the spread of the COVID 19 virus or failed to present their quarantine pass.

The article mentioned that the members of the PNP then allegedly brought the residents to the cemetery to show them where they would end up if they contracted the virus.

The alleged actions of bringing the persons who violated the quarantine order to a cemetery to frighten them that they would possibly die, and exposing them under the heat of the sun are additional risks to the health of the alleged offenders.

Republic Act No. 9745 or the Anti-Torture Law of 2009 defines other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment as a deliberate and aggravated treatment or punishment not enumerated under Section 4 of this Act, inflicted by a person in authority or agent of a person in authority against a person under his/her custody, which attains a level of severity causing suffering, gross humiliation or debasement to the latter.”

On March 14, 2020, Mayor Lani Mercado Revilla issued Executive Order No. 10 and Memorandum Order No. 23, as a supplement to EO No. 10 on the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Bacoor City. In both documents, there was no mention of arrest and detention of any individual who would violate the said quarantine. What was mentioned in the supplemental order was that “non-essential going out of persons having high-risk of being infected… is strongly discouraged until and when the state of a public health emergency is lifted.”

On March 19, Bacoor Representative Strike Revilla made an announcement that the city was in lockdown, but no details of the guidelines were made available. As of this writing, there is no news regarding the lockdown is available on the Bacoor.gov.ph website.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write a letter to the following authorities, urging them to stop the practice of arbitrary detention and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of quarantine violators in Bacoor City and initiate inquiries in the possibility of human rights violations allegedly committed by the Philippine National Police.

A. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of the alleged violators of the quarantine.
B. Ensure that all those who participated and were responsible for the arbitrary arrest and detention and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment 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 these 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 Lani Mercado Revilla
Mayor, Bacoor City
3rd Floor, Bacoor Government Center
Bacoor City, Cavite
Tel: +63 46 481 4140

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Include your full name, e-mail address, and contact number.

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