Inspection of detention cells starts

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) is conducting an inventory of all its lock-up cells and detention facilities to account for all persons under custody, following reports of torture of prisoners in a police detention unit, an official said.

Police Chief Superintendent Prudencio Tom Bañas, chief of the PNP-Human Rights Affairs Office (HRAO), said the inspection and audit teams from the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management and HRAO were immediately sent to account for all lock-up cells in regional, provincial and municipal police units to check on the condition of inmates and offenders in police custody.

Bañas said the inspection is a requirement under the Anti-Torture Act of 2009. The Anti-Torture Law ensures the human rights of all persons, including suspects, detainees, and prisoners are respected at all times especially by law enforcers.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) earlier said they have uncovered a secret detention facility near Manila where police play a "wheel of torture" game to determine how to torture crime suspects, mostly suspected drug traffickers, to extract information and have fun.

Human Rights group Amnesty International said that detainees were punched if the "torture wheel" stopped at "20 seconds Manny Pacquiao," named after the popular boxer, or hung upside down if it stopped at "30-second bat position." It called the practice despicable.

PNP Chief Director General Alan Purisima reminded policemen to obey the law. “We warned our personnel that any violation thereof shall be seriously dealt with,” he said. (Sunnex)

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