Press Release
August 18, 2010


Senator Chiz Escudero today said the act of torture perpetrated by Tondo police personnel which was caught on video is most deplorable, saying such act has no place in our society.

He said that the passage of the anti-torture law (RA 9745) of which he sponsored as Chairman of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights was pushed in the hope that there will be a working mechanism to stop this culture of impunity which is prevalent nowadays.

"However, the passage of the said law did not seem to deter those policemen from violating every aspect of the victim's human rights".

Escudero said while he welcomed the relief of the entire police force of the Asuncion police community precinct, the consequences of their act should not stop there.

"These erring policemen should be held accountable and should be punished with the full force of the law. No one who is in the custody of the government should face danger and death. In fact our government agencies and facilities should provide a safe haven for human rights".

The perpetrator, Escudero said could face a penalty of reclusion perpetua or lifetime imprisonment if witness' report is true and could be proven that victim has died.

Those policemen who were watching are also criminally liable as accessories and could face a reclusion temporal penalty or imprisonment of 12-20 years.

Escudero said this incident should not only serve as a test case for the anti-torture law but a test case also for the Aquino administration to strongly enforce the law.

While the witness said the victim is already dead, Escudero called on any member of his family, relatives or friends to step out to verify or confirmed reports about the status of the tortured victim.

He also called on the CHR, the DOJ, the Department of National Defense (DND), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and such other concerned parties in both the public and private sectors to start and continue educating and training their personnel about the prohibition against torture, as provided by law.

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