CHR launches probe after cops’ alleged rape, extortion of two women in Cebu City
MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Human Rights (CHR) spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said Thursday they are now investigating whether a secret jail exists in Cebu City Police Station 6 following the alleged rape, torture, and extortion of two women there.
“Although there are already criminal charges filed against 11 police officers for their alleged involvement in rape, extortion, and robbery cases, the CHR Region VII launched an independent probe on Tuesday, 06 April 2021, to investigate whether a secret jail exists inside the police premise and if there are other human rights violations committed,” de Guia said in a statement.
“The regional body is already in constant coordination with the women complainants and working together with Philippine National Police’s Integrity Monitoring and Enhancement Group Visayas Field Unit to ensure the safety of the former detainees,” she added.
De Guia said that despite the prohibition of the use of secret detention facilities under the Philippine Constitution and Anti-Torture Act of 2009, CHR has noted “that such illegal practice persists in places of detention where cases of torture and other ill-treatment are likely to take place.”
“Women in particular are most vulnerable to different forms of violence in places of deprivation of liberty as a means of coercion to elicit confessions, to humiliate and dehumanize them, or merely to use the opportunity of their absolute powerlessness,” De Guia said.
De Guia then called on the government to enact a legislation that will mandate the creation of National Preventive Mechanism as part of its commitment to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which the Philippines is a State party to.
“Apart from physical and psychological harm, the Commission stresses that preventing torture means improvement of the facilities and reduction of the congestion, which are equally important in recognizing the human rights and dignity of persons deprived of liberty,” she said.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said that the policemen who are facing raps on extortion, rape, and for allegedly running a secret jail will lose their allowances from the city government.
Labella called the policemen “scallawags” and “rotten eggs” for destroying the reputation of the police force.
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