Tag Archives: RA9745

[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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[Statement] Dismissal from service of torturers not enough, implement RA9745, convene the Oversight Com -TFDP

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
Reaction to the alleged torture of inmates in a secret detention in Binan Laguna
January 30, 2014

DISMISSAL FROM SERVICE OF TORTURERS NOT ENOUGH, IMPLEMENT RA9745, CONVENE THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

Suspension and dismissal from service of the 10 suspected torturers are not enough. Cases should be filed against the alleged perpetrators under the Anti-Torture Law (ATL) or RA9745 and prosecute torturers.

TFDP logo small

The alleged torture of detainees if proven should not only penalize the 10 police personnel. Their immediate superiors should also be held liable. The ATL provides,

The immediate commanding officer of the unit concerned of the AFP or the immediate senior public official of the PNP and other law enforcement agencies shall be held liable as a principal to the crime of torture or other cruel or inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment for any act or omission, or negligence committed by him/her that shall have led, assisted, abetted or allowed, whether directly or indirectly, the commission thereof by his/her subordinates. If he/she has knowledge of or, owing to the circumstances at the time, should have known that acts of torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment shall be committed, is being committed, or has been committed by his/her subordinates or by others within his/her area of responsibility and, despite such knowledge, did not take preventive or corrective action either before, during or immediately after its commission, when he/she has the authority to prevent or investigate allegations of torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment but failed to prevent or investigate allegations of such act, whether deliberately or due to negligence shall also be liable as principals.

Moreover, they should also be held liable for maintaining a “secret prison” in Binan, Laguna. Section 7 of RA 9745 states that

Prohibited Detention. – Secret detention places, solitary confinement, incommunicado or other similar forms of detention, where torture may be carried out with impunity.

This is also to urge the Commission on Human Rights to convene the oversight committee, as provided by the law. The committee shall be composed of representatives from both houses of Congress for the purpose of monitoring compliance to the act.

EMMANUEL AMISTAD
Executive Director
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
09178569830; ecamistad@yahoo.com, office: 9950246, 4378054; tfdp.1974@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.

[Open Letter] PHILIPPINES: Concern over how the PLEB is handling the case of the torture victim Jhon Paul Nerio – AHRC

Atty. Fernando Cubero
Chairman
Peoples Law Enforcement Board
City Hall of Kidapawan
Kidapawan City
PHILIPPINES

Tel. No.: +63 64 288 1369
Ref. No.: Mr. Jhon Paul Nerio (Admin Case No. 11-02)

PHILIPPINES: Concern over how the PLEB is handling the case of the torture victim Jhon Paul Nerio
Asian Human Rights Commission The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is writing with deep concern with regard to how your office is dealing with the administrative complaint of Mr. Jhon Paul Nerio, a torture victim. We are concerned about his case as we have been assisting him and his family in his complaint.

Please note that before you came to know about Mr. Nerio’s case and his administrative complaint filed to your office on March 28, 2011, they had sought the assistance of the local police, particularly from P/Supt. Alexander Camilon Tagum, who introduced himself as Company Commander of the Cotabato Provincial Public Safety, but he did nothing when asked to intervene to have the victim’s torture complaint investigated.

On March 4, 2011, the victim’s father, Pablito; and his wife, Onyx were not afforded the assistance by P/Supt. Tagum, that should have been expected from a police establishment. Before P/Supt. Tagum even conducted an investigation, he had already trivialized the victim’s complaint. The victim’s family had no legal knowledge in pursuing complaints against the police. They were ignored on the occasions when they needed the police intervention to investigate. P/Supt Tagum had given the victim’s parents vague instructions on how they should pursue the complaint, which of course they could not possibly comprehend having little experience in matters of legality.

P/Supt. Tagum also told the Nerios that one of the respondents, P/Insp. Joan Resurreccion, could not and must not be disturbed as he was undergoing schooling related to his police service. The very obvious and incredible display of arrogance of this police colonel to try to defend his subordinates is highly unacceptable.

Also, on March 1, 2011, a few days before the Nerios asked P/Supt. Tagum’s assistance to have their complaint of torture investigated they had also gone to the Kidapawan City Police Office (KCPO). Here, a police officer, whom they know only as Colonel Mamburam, had put the blame solely on the victim, Jhon Paul. He, too, described the victim as “Gong gong (stupid)” humiliating his parents, at that time.

This account of the incident however was never mentioned in the police record; nor was it mentioned in the complaint filed in your office. But that does not mean it did not happen nor that the family have no evidence to prove this. In fact, they do have. They did not mention any of these matters as at the time, P/Supt. Tagum was not directly involved in the proceedings. However, now that this Superintendent has filed for an extension on behalf of the respondents it now becomes necessary to inform you of his actions or rather, the lack of them. P/Supt. Tagum’s intervention on behalf of the respondents exposes him and the police establishment as nothing but protectors of torturers.

Violations to Anti-Torture Act of 2009

Under the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 (R.A. 9745), the action of P/Supt. Tagum and another police colonel called Mamburam, has breached out rightly section 9 (a), which requires that: a victim of torture shall “have a prompt and impartial investigation” by the concerned government agencies, which includes the PNP.

We are not aware of any action taken on the part of P/Supt. Tagum and the police colonel known only as “Colonel Mamburam”.

Nevertheless, P/Supt. Tagum has taken it upon himself to file a “Motion for the Extension of Submission of Answer Under Oath” on April 4, 2011 on behalf of the respondents, namely P/Insp. Joan Resurreccion, P03 Renato Servidad, P02 Aileen Jauod, P02 Bembol Malaluan and P02 Jovan Mapandi, after your office had sent subpoenas to their office on March 30, 2011 requiring them to answer the complaint.

The Motion for Extension, however, did not contain any explanation that could have justified P/Supt. Tagum’s role or personality in his submission of the Motion on behalf of the respondents, particularly P/Insp. Ressureccion; nor did it contain any explanation he had been given instructions to submit the Motion on behalf of the respondents.

The Motion that P/Supt. Tagum had filed also contains contradictions and lacks any justifications required by the PLEB Rules to merit its approval.

Lack of justification to delay proceedings

Firstly, while P/Supt. Tagum claimed that after receiving the summons, “we immediately exerted efforts to contact P/INSP. RESURRECTION through different means of communications being the main deponent of this instant Administrative case, however, our effort futile” (sic). P/Supt Tagum nevertheless informed that the respondent is presently at “Fort Ramon Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija undergoing training on BASIC AIRBORNE COURSE, that commenced last March 15, 2011″.

When we made a follow up on the case today, April 14, at your office, we were informed that the P/Supt. Tagum’s Motion had been granted on April 7; but when their Answer was due to be submitted on April 12, the other respondents filed another Motion for Extension on the same grounds which your office once again approved for April 18. Thus, none of the police officers have answered the complaint since it was filed on March 28.

The Motion that P/Supt. Tagum had first filed and subsequently that of the other respondents lacks credibility and impartiality. We could not understand as to what basis your office had in deciding to grant their motion, not only once but on two occasions. We consider P/Supt. Tagum’s claim to have been unable to contact P/Insp. Ressurreccion contradictory and lacking in logic. It is incomprehensible as to how he could not contact him but at the same time he was able to give details regarding his whereabouts and nature of his training.

Also, when the Nerio couple sought P/Supt. Tagum’s assistance asking their complaint to be investigated on March 4, 2011, he had already told them the P/Insp. Resurreccion was at that time on training and that he could not and must not be disturbed. However, in the Motion for Extension that P/Supt Tagum had himself written, signed and filed in your office the training in fact started only on March 15, 2011. There cannot be any clearer evidence that P/Supt. Tagum was, in fact, attempting to cover up for P/Insp. Resurreccion in the knowledge that he was possibly a respondent in a case of torture.

We protest the granting of the extension on the basis that they lack credibility, impartiality and legal justification as required by the PLEB Rules. They are purely an ill-disguised attempt to frustrate the proceedings of the complaint.

The granting of the extensions were a breach of Rule IV, section 5 of the PLEB’s Revised Rules of Procedure in the hearing and adjudication of citizen’s complaints against uniformed members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), which clearly states that: “No motion to dismiss, motion for bill of particulars or any other interlocutory motion shall be allowed hence, filing of the same shall not interrupt the running of the reglementary period for filing an answer”.

The secretary of your office, whom we spoke to by telephone stated that: “It has been granted (the motion for extension) sir because the main respondent P/Insp. Ressureccion is still in schooling, so as of now he is out of town for an Airborne basic training” and then the rest of the complainants also filed another extension but hopefully this (April) 18 it (the complaint) will be answered”.

Please take note that the Role of PLEB as a quasi-judicial body is summary in nature as required by section 2 of the Rules of Procedures, “the hearing is summary in nature and shall not be governed strictly by the technical rules of procedures”. Moreover, section 10 (d) of the Rule prohibits “prolonged argumentation and other dilatory proceedings”. We are deeply concerned by the failure of your office to dispense your duties as required by the complaint procedure of the PLEB.

Failure to request for “Preventive Suspension”

Secondly, we are not aware as to whether your office has considered to “Request for Preventive Suspension”, as required by section 13 of the PLEB Rules, on all the respondents involved in this case. Since your office took cognizance of the case, we presumed that, as required by Rule III, section 1, the nature of the complaint had been considered as “grave or less grave”.

According to the details that we already have, the four elements that are required from the PLEB wherein request for Preventive Suspension is justifiable, to the superior police officials of the respondents, as required by section 13 of the PLEB Rules, have been meet, as we explain below;

Refusing to heed subpoena
As explained above, we are deeply concerned by the continuing efforts by the respondents to deliberately postpone and delay their submission of their answers to the complaint. We could not understand why all the respondents were granted extensions on the grounds similar to what their commander had put forward, i.e. that P/Insp. Resurreccion, that he is on schooling.

We could also not understand why the respondent police officers, as you are aware who themselves had far better understanding of legal process and had access to legal counsel, would ever need their commander to be literally behind them and be physically present to be able answer the charges against them. This administrative charge is not collective in nature; thus, it is incomprehensible that all the other police respondents would not be able to answer without the presence of their commander.

We, therefore, consider this as an outright refusal to heed to the PLEB’s subpoena, let alone that the Motion for Extension should have not granted by the PLEB.

Charge with bodily harm
As explained in detail by the torture victim Jhon Paul Nerio in his complaint, the administrative charges on the respondents is torture–which the victim himself has clearly described. Torture is a serious offense. It involves not only the infliction of bodily harm, but psychological and emotional trauma on the victim. This has also been explained in detail by the victim in his testimony.

Respondent are in a position to tamper evidence
As also explained by the victim in his complaint, the policemen involved had deliberately conspired to conceal the details about the torture. They have concealed any information about what had happened to him while he was in their custody and when he was in the custody of the Women and Children’s Desk (WCD) of the PNP in Kidapawan City.

When the victim was turned over to the WCD, the officers who brought him never mentioned about what had happened to him while he was in their custody; nor was the victim given the opportunity to put on record his allegations of torture because the policewoman, P02 Jauod, had deliberately not recorded his testimony. The extract of the police blotter on the date when the victim was arrested, held in custody and questioned in absence of his parents, never contained anything about his allegations of torture.

Thus, the respondents had the capacity to and have, in fact, “tampered with the evidence”.

Unduly influencing the witness
After the complaint was filed to your office, on April 2 & 3, 2011, some respondents had approached the victim, Jhon Paul; and his parents, Pablito and Onyx, in person by visiting their home asking them to settle the case. They did this despite knowing full well that, on any administrative complaint filed against police in PLEB, section 8 of the Rules strictly requires that: “In no circumstance shall there be an amicable settlement of the case”.

We were informed that the respondents had offered a sports motorcycle to the victim in exchange for withdrawing the charges. The nature of complaint of torture is serious and must not be taken lightly. The complainant of torture is not only a victim but also the sole witness to their own case in the crime of torture that had been committed on him. In this case, only Jhon Paul is the person who could testify in your proceedings about his ordeal of torture, no one else.

Once again it is only Jhon Paul who could testify in the hearing of your summary proceedings as to how he was arbitrarily arrested without explaining to him the nature of offense on which he was arrested, how he had been assaulted and tortured in open view when he was arrested; how he was threatened to be harmed, if not killed, as he was held in the custody of the police at their police quarters; and how the police, particularly PO2 Jauod, did nothing when he was tortured and assaulted while in her custody.

Also, only Jhon Paul could testify as to how the police have deliberately suppressed the details about how he had been tortured; and as to how P02 Jauod had ignored his request for treatment, his request to contact his parents–as required by law for minors; and his demand from the policemen who had tortured and assaulted him of explanation as to for why they were torturing him.

Lastly, we urge your office to perform your duties and obligations; and to implement the Rules of Procedure of PLEB with impartiality and competence. The PLEB, as you know full well was established as a complaint mechanism for citizens is civilian in nature. The composition of the PLEB board that takes, accepts, investigates and hears cases of administrative complaint in summary proceedings against policemen was deliberately created as civilian in nature. This was done to uphold the supremacy of civilian authority over the police.

However, we are deeply concerned that the manner in which your office is handling this complaint has been contrary to the purpose of the creation of the PLEB. Unless the object of our protest and concerns, as we have illustrated are corrected, the credibility and authority of your office would remain in question.

Yours sincerely,

Md. Ashrafuzzaman
Programme Officer
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong

SPECIAL REPORT: Torture in the Philippines & the unfulfilled promise of the 1987 Constitution
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2011
AHRC-OLT-003-2011
An Open Letter from the Asian Human Rights Commission to Atty. Fernando Cubero, Chairman, Peoples Law Enforcement Board in Kidapawan City