Central Visayas CHR probes video showing cops beating up suspect
CEBU CITY — The Commission on Human Rights in Central Visayas (CHR-7) is investigating a viral video that showed police operatives beating up a suspect on Holy Thursday.
Lawyer Arvin Odron, CHR-7 director, said a task force had been created to determine the identities of policemen who may be liable for violating the anti-torture law.
Odron said he believed that the men on the video were policemen even if they were on plainclothes since the victim was now detained at the police station in Barangay Talamban, Cebu City.
He said the police were also quoted in media reports saying an operation was conducted on the victim, Eddie Basillote, who was also tagged as a drug suspect.
He added the men on the video were armed with high-powered firearms usually given to policemen and law enforcement agents.
The policemen assigned at the Talamban police station denied that they were the ones on the video.
The seven-minute video was footage from a closed-circuit television camera which showed armed men in civilian clothes barging into a house and beating up a man.
A woman who was carrying a little girl witnessed the mauling.
It also appeared on the video that the armed men were looking for something but didn’t find it.
The video was posted by one Winmae Micarsos on the Facebook page of Tulfo Charity to ask the help of Raffy Tulfo.
Based on the post of Micarsos, these men were policemen from Talamban police station who barged into the house of her cousin in Barangay Carreta without any warrant.
Carreta, which falls under the jurisdiction of Mabolo police station, is about 5 km from Talamban.
Micarsos claimed that these policemen beat up her cousin, who, she said, was innocent and took him even if they didn’t find any illegal drugs during the search.
The post generated more than 3,100 reactions and 2,300 comments and was shared 10,000 times as of 12:42 p.m. on Friday.
Among those who shared the post was Cebu City Tomas Osmeña whose relationship with the local police had been less than ideal lately.
In his post, Osmeña offered a P100,000-reward for each person identified in the video so charges could be filed against them.
“Text me directly at 0917 329 9999. Text from a prepaid if you want. I can still give instructions on how to claim your reward once your info is verified. The people behind this will be held responsible,” he said.
The mayor said he would also write a letter to the Cebu City Police Office to demand the details of the operation.
But he admitted he would not expect any response since the CCPO didn’t reply to his previous letters demanding an explanation on the alleged illegal raid conducted by the police on the house of a village chief allied with the mayor, as well as on the incidents of harassment in the mountain barangays of Agsungot and Buot Taup whose local chiefs were supporters of the mayor.
“As with the previous letters, I do not expect a proper reply, but at least it will be on record that the police’s leadership are in contempt of the Mayor’s authority as granted by Republic Acts 6975 and 8551 and charges will be filed,” he added./lzb
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