PNP ‘open’ to CHR probe on death of suspects in police custody
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) said Friday it is open to any investigation to be conducted by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on the deaths of suspects while in police custody.
“The PNP is open to any probe to be conducted by CHR insofar as handling of suspects under police custody is concerned,” PNP spokesperson Police Col. Bernard Banac told INQUIRER.net.
A media report earlier said the CHR will investigate cases where suspects died while in the hands of the police, as in the case of Carl Joseph Bañanola, the suspect in the gruesome murder of an octogenarian couple in Novaliches, Quezon City.
Bañanola was shot dead on Wednesday night by Lt. Col. Rossel Cejas himself, commander of the Novaliches Police, after the suspect allegedly engaged his police escorts in a gun scuffle inside a police mobile. There were four police officers inside the car during the incident.
The PNP had earlier dismissed the case as an “isolated” incident.
“We assure the public that the PNP has rigid rules and policies on treatment of persons under police custody,” said Banac.
He assured that police operational procedures on custody or detention of criminal offenders are “governed by specific rules for admission, segregation, visitation, transfer of custody and release.”
“Nonetheless, all deaths of persons under police custody whether medical or traumatic in nature were duly investigated to preclude the possibility of foul play or lapses by custodial personnel,” Banac said.
The PNP spokesman also explained that aside from the request for custody from the arresting unit or a commitment order from the court, the custodial unit from the police requires proof of medical condition or medical certificate of the detainee.
It is unfortunate, he said, that there had been cases where the medical condition of a suspect has not been completely evaluated, that conditions while the suspect is under the custody of the police may have helped worsen his condition. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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