Video of rookie police while being subjected to hazing. Video from the Commission on Human Rights
MANILA, Philippines—More heads rolled on Thursday among the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) police over video clips that surfaced this week showing officers hazing trainees at a camp in Laguna.
The Philippine National Police announced the sacking of eight more trainers, including two superior officers, after an investigation found their possible culpability in the maltreatment of recruits at Camp Eldridge in Los Baños.
PNP Director General Raul M. Bacalzo placed Senior Inspector Leopoldo Ferre Jr. and Senior Insp. Klinto Rex Jamorol under investigation over the hazing of trainees undergoing the PNP’s Special Counter-Insurgency Operation Unit Training (SCOUT) Course in Laguna in 2010.
The two were summoned to face investigation under the doctrine of command responsibility, officials said.
Ferre was the commanding officer of the 1st Maneuver Company of the Regional Public Safety Battalion of Calabarzon police while Jamorol was the course director.
The videos show the victims being forced to eat fistfuls of red-hot chilies by men who are presumably their trainers, and ordered to remove their pants and have chilies rubbed on their genitals and buttocks, causing them to cry in pain.
In a report to President Aquino through Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, Bacalzo said all 14 PNP SCOUT trainers identified in the video clips had been relieved from their posts effective August 1 and placed under restrictive custody at Camp Vicente Lim.
A fact-finding probe by a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) headed by Chief Superintendent Gil Meneses, director of Police Regional Office 4A, has been initiated, along with a parallel administrative investigation by the Internal Affairs Service.
The 14 PNP SCOUT trainers facing investigation are: Police Officers 1 Roque Oro, Rovylyn Addatu, Evan Mark Cuartero, Marfe Adier, Jhun Plonelo, Allan Pascua, Melvin Malihan, Troy Sumayod, Randy Nabayra, Jodgi Vergara, Ezel Papa, Ramil de Guzman, Arnel Yadis and Alberto Umali.
Bacalzo said the 14 police trainers have been reassigned to the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit of PRO4A to ensure their availability in facing administrative and criminal charges, including for violation of the anti-hazing law.
“Other PNP personnel who may be identified in the course of the investigation who have knowledge but failed to prevent the occurrence of the incident shall also be held administratively and criminally liable,” Bacalzo said.
“Actions like this do not have any place in the PNP where respect for human rights and the rule of law is a command policy that every PNP member is duty bound to uphold,” Bacalzo said.