TFDP to Aquino: End torture practice as you did wangwang's use
On Torture
Sunday, 29 August 2010 13:05

GMAnews.TV: Posted 08/22/2010 | 11:41 AM

All it takes to end all forms of torture in the country is President Benigno “Noynoy" Aquino III’s saying no to such acts, just like he did on the use of wang-wang (siren and blinkers), a human rights group said Saturday.

On the occasion of the commemoration of the 27th anniversary of the assassination of the president’s father, the late Sen. Benigno “Ninoy" Aquino Jr., the Task force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) said, “May Ninoy’s death inspire Noynoy to categorically declare ending the practice of torture by police and military elements against suspected criminals they arrested."

Likewise, the president could make an order to ensure that justice be served to all victims of torture, said TFDP in a statement.

The issue came to light after a cell phone video footage of a supposed torture session inside a police precinct in Manila’s Tondo district was featured on a television report, and circulated later on Internet video-sharing platform YouTube.

“The president must prosecute all torturers under the Anti-Torture Act or RA 9745 and show the world that here in the Philippines, torture and other acts of human rights violations are not condoned, permitted, ignored, or tolerated," TFDP added.

It said, the Tondo torture incident is not an isolated case, contrary to police claims. Across the years, TFDP has gathered volumes of reports of torture perpetrated by police and military elements on suspects under their custody.

The group cited a recent incident of torture involving Lenin Salas and four of his companions after they were arrested last August 3, in Pampanga, on suspicion they were rebel supporters.

It said “TFDP and the human rights community struggled for an anti-torture law for decades. It has been a rampant practice during the dark years of martial law, and the recent documented cases show that until this day even with the law, the use of torture by some criminals in uniform still persists and not a single violator has been jailed."

It added, Aquino must not disappoint the millions of Filipinos who entrusted the protection and fulfillment of human rights upon his leadership. He should not let these erring men in uniform terrorize our society and stain his administration with the blood of human rights violations victims.

Admitting it is worried about negative perceptions caused by the torture incident in Tondo, Malacañang on Saturday pushed for a speedy investigation into the alleged torture.

Presidential Communications Development Strategic and Planning Secretary Ramon “Ricky" Carandang said government cannot afford to be portrayed as allowing torture to be part of a “culture of violence."

“We have instances where we see torture, the government and its agencies should act fast in trying to resolve it. There should be no perception we are dragging our heels on this," Carandang said on a radio interview.

Meanwhile, International rights group Amnesty International (AI) urged the government to investigate cases of torture under the new Anti-Torture Law, which was passed in July 2009.

AI noted the government has yet to prosecute anyone under the law.

The group said the torture case will be a gauge of President Aquino's commitment to his campaign promise of protecting human rights. -- Egay Cabalitan/LBG, GMANews.TV

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Last Updated on Sunday, 29 August 2010 13:32

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