Tag Archives: Detention

[From the web] ‘Worse than prison’: Abuses in Philippine youth homes -PhilStar.com

Eleven-year-old Jerry’s crime was breaking curfew laws after fleeing violence at home. His punishment? Being sent to a youth detention centre, where he says he endured sexual abuse.

Officially called “Houses of Hope”, proponents in the Philippines say such facilities are places for reformation and education, but critics slam many of them as “hellholes” where children are treated like caged animals.

Rights’ groups say Jerry should never have been detained under current laws, but warn a proposed bill to lower the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 12, will mean thousands more children will be sent to overcrowded and underfunded centres — leaving them vulnerable to mistreatment.

Read more @www.philstar.com

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[From the web] Relieving the Philippines’ Overcrowded Jails By Carlos H. Conde, Human Rights Watch

Dispatches: Relieving the Philippines’ Overcrowded Jails
By Carlos H. Conde, Human Rights Watch
January 6, 2015

The Supreme Court of the Philippines has ordered 286 people to be released from jail because they had already spent the same amount of time behind bars as the minimum penalties for their alleged offenses. The court’s long-overdue action is designed to address the country’s serious problem of lengthy pretrial detention and is part of what the court called its “Judgment Day” program that, along with “Justice on Wheels” and “Hustisyeah!,” aims to decongest the Philippines’ notoriously overcrowded detention facilities.

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The Supreme Court deserves credit for taking the initiative to address the problem of lengthy pretrial detention in the Philippines. But the release of these detainees is nothing more than a symbolic drop in the bucket in comparison to the estimated more than 70,000 people currently in detention awaiting trial for often extremely lengthy periods. Many spend decades in jail waiting for their case to go before a judge.

A June 2014 report by the International Center for Prison Studies noted that the Philippines has the highest number of pretrial detainees in Southeast Asia and the sixth highest in the world. Prolonged pretrial detention violates international human rights law that the Philippines has agreed to uphold. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, for instance, states that everyone detained on a criminal charge is “entitled to trial within a reasonable time or release.”

Prolonged pretrial detention is often the result of the Philippines’ inefficient judicial system, which is hobbled by corruption, clogged dockets, and an inadequate number of court facilities and judges to oversee them. Police and prosecutors often file charges despite inadequate preliminary evidence or an absence of probable cause. The passage of the country’s tough anti-drug law in 2002 resulted in a sharp rise in arrests that have added to the pressure on the country’s already overcrowded detention facilities.

Reducing the large numbers of people in lengthy pretrial detention will require more than occasional mass-releases of individuals whose trial was overdue. Instead it will require much more wide-reaching justice system reform to address the systemic issues that create such injustices. The Supreme Court has highlighted the problem but now it is up to the government to step up and take serious action.

Carlos H. Conde is the Philippines researcher at Human Rights Watch. Follow him at @condeHRW.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/01/05/dispatches-relieving-philippines-overcrowded-jails

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[Urgent Appeal] Labor leader Arrested and Detained -TFDP

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URGENT APPEAL: Labor leader Arrested and Detained

Dear friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) writes to inform you about the arrest of Antonio T. Cuizon, president of the Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper (PMCC), an organized union of Carmen Copper Incorporated since 1985.

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CASE DETAILS:

The Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper (PMCC) president was arrested by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on October 26, 2014 at around 7:00 a.m. in Terrasa II, Camella Subdivision, Imus, Cavite. The victim was identified as Antonio Triambolo Cuizon, 58 years old, married, and a labor union president.

On the day of the incident, Cuizon was driving his Nissan Urvan vehicle. He and his wife Nanita and cousin Virgilio Restauro were about to go to the market to buy food. After passing the gate of their subdivision, ten (10) CIDG members in civilian clothes and full battle gear stopped them.

According to Cuizon, the CIDG team pointed their guns at them. A certain Bundal, the operation head, approached him and asked if he is Antonio Triambolo Cuizon. Bundal showed him the warrant and said, “We were looking for you since last week.” Immediately, he was handcuffed. He was transferred to a black Toyota with five unidentified CIDG men, including the driver.

They arrived at the CIDG Provincial Office in Imus at around 7:30 a.m. According to Cuizon, his blood pressure shot up to 200/100 which forced the CIDG personnel to bring him to Medical Center of Imus (MCI). After three hours, he was brought back to the CIDG detention center where he stayed for two days.

On October 28, 2014 at around 3:00 a.m., he was made to board the CIDG mobile car and was brought to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) with two unidentified CIDG personnel as escorts. They arrived at the NAIA at around 5:00 a.m. At 5:30 a.m., he was boarded in the Cebu Pacific flight 5J585 bound for Cebu.

At around 6:40 a.m., they arrived at Mactan International Airport, Mactan, Cebu City. He was made to ride a CIDG mobile patrol car and was brought to the CIDG Office inside Camp Sotero Cabahug, Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City.

According to Cuizon, at around 11:00 a.m., Col. Posadas interrogated him and told him to locate the union treasurer since they had the same case.

At around 2:00 p.m., he was again boarded to a police mobile patrol car and brought to Toledo City. They arrived at around 4:00 p.m. at the Toledo City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 29 for his commitment order. He was then brought to Toledo City Jail in Sitio Kabutongan, Barangay Landahan, Toledo City, where he is currently detained. He is being charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

CASE BACKGROUND:

On March 22, 2013 at around 12:30 a.m., Cuizon’s house and PMCC union office was raided by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

According to Mark Anthony, Cuizon’s son, he was awakened on that day with their helper’s knocks on his door. When he went out of his room, he saw three unidentified police officers who were inside their house and 12 others who were outside.

A certain George Ilanan, team leader, approached him and showed a search warrant. Mark Anthony immediately called their lawyer, Atty. Milagros Piol. At around 1:00 a.m., Atty. Piol arrived and the police went on to search the house.

According to Mark Anthony, he accompanied the police officer in searching the house. They searched the office of his father, the cooperative office, and the union office where a .45 caliber gun and grenade were allegedly found.

Mark Anthony said that one of the policemen directly went inside the union office and immediately went to a corner where he allegedly found the gun and the grenade. Mark Anthony talked to the police officer and asked why he did not coordinate with his companion who will also conduct a search in the said area. Mark said that the evidences found were planted.

According to the elder Cuizon, his arrest came after the decertification of PMCC as the sole and exclusive bargaining union at the mine, and the formation of a management-backed yellow union called Carmen Copper Workers Labor Organization (CCWLO).

On October 10, 2014, the management conducted an election to determine which of the two unions will remain at the Carmen Copper, Inc. The PMCC union lost in the election.

REQUESTED ACTION:

PLEASE SEND LETTERS TO THE CONCERNED GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO ENSURE AND GUARANTEE THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF THE VICTIM INSIDE TOLEDO CITY JAIL, TOLEDO CITY.

Thank you.
Ramiel C. Aballe
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ________________,

Greetings!

This is to express my grave concern regarding the arrest of Antonio T. Cuizon who is currently detained at Toledo City Jail.

I have learned that on October 26, 2014 at around 7:00 in the morning, Cuizon, union labor president of Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper (PMCC) was arrested by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Terrasa II, Camella Subdivision, Imus, Cavite. He was presented with a warrant of arrest for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

I came to know that on March 22, 2013 at around 12:30 a.m., Cuizon’s house and PMCC union office was raided by 15 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP). A .45 pistol and a grenade were allegedly found in the union office.

According to the Cuizon, his arrest came after the decertification of PMCC as the sole and exclusive bargaining union at the mine, and the formation of a management-backed yellow union called Carmen Copper Workers Labor Organization (CCWLO).

On October 10, 2014, the management conducted an election to determine which of the two unions will remain at the Carmen Copper, Inc. The PMCC union lost in the election.

I am writing to ask for immediate action in favor of the victim:

1. The immediate release of the victim, only two years away from becoming a senior citizen and suffering from severe hypertension, diabetes and arthritis.

2. The reinvestigation of the police raids which were in violation of existing guidelines on the conduct of police during labor disputes.

I am asking that immediate action be taken in favor of the victim. Thank you.
Respectfully yours,
_______________________

PLEASE SEND LETTERS:

1. His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President, Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila
1005 Philippines
Tel: +6327356201/5641451 to 80
Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

2. Hon. Leila M. De Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice (DOJ)
Padre Faura Street
Ermita, Manila
1000 Philippines
Fax: +63 2 523 9548
Tel: +63 2 521 1908
Email: lmdelima@doj.gov.ph / doj.delima@gmail.com

3. Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quizon City
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
Email: Rosales.chr@gmail.com

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.