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TFDP condemns authorities for the continued use of torture
On Torture
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 17:19
Press Release
June 24, 2011

In line with the 14th year of commemoration of the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) calls on the authorities to stop the continued use of torture. We join the victims and their families in their quest for justice for the violation they have suffered at the hands of the supposed protectors of human rights.

As per TFDP documentation for the period of 1986 up to April 2011, there have been 1,122 cases of torture involving 4,839 individuals as victims. After the enactment of the Anti-Torture Law, 42 cases involving 64 victims have been documented. In Mindanao alone, from January to December 2010, there were 9 cases involving 14 victims.

Some of the alleged torture perpetrators are members of the Philippine Army, the Philippine National Police and the intelligence group. Unfortunately, the perpetrators were not identified by the victims since they were blindfolded during the ordeal.

The Philippine government is a signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT), which entered into force on June 26, 1987.  Republic Act 9745 or the Anti-Torture Law was only enacted in November 2009. Under this law, torture is already considered a crime. Until now, however, torture is being used to extract information from suspects and political detainees.

A case in point is the alleged torture of Anuar Hasim and Abdulbayan Guiamblang, two (2) Muslims of the Maguindanao tribe. They were arbitrarily arrested in separate incidents.

Hasim was arrested on April 4, 2010 in General Santos City by a composite team of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the intelligence group. Guiamblang was arrested on February 26, 2010 in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao by members of the 38th Infantry Battalion of Philippine Army.

Both of them spoke of their torture ordeal in the hands of their captors. They were interrogated and held incommunicado for several days. The law enforcers allegedly acquired warrants for their arrest but the manner used in arresting them went beyond due process. They were not informed about their constitutional rights.

Hasim revealed that his head was wrapped with cellophane for several times. He was kicked, punched and strangled. His left thumb was burned with a cigarette butt for several times.

Guiamblang narrated that during his interrogation, his head was hit with bottled water for several times. When he slept during the night, his handcuffs were connected to the lower portion of the door.  This limited his movements.  He was also punched for several times.

The alleged torture of Hasim and Guiamblang should be properly investigated. Torture and the lack of due process will only exacerbate the climate of fear among civilian populace. This barbaric act should be stopped. Torture has no place in a civilized society.

End torture now. Prosecute perpetrators of this crime. Uphold the Anti-torture law.

RITA M. MELECIO
Mindanao Team Leader
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
#214, Earth St., GSIS Heights,
Matina, Davao City
Cell# 09497215341

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 17:32
 

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