More heads roll in hazing of recruits | Inquirer News

More heads roll in hazing of recruits

/ 05:12 AM August 05, 2011

More heads rolled on Thursday at the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) police office over the hazing video incident at a Laguna camp.

The Philippine National Police has announced the dismissal of nine more police trainers, including two superior officers, for possible culpability in the alleged mistreatment of recruits undergoing special counter-insurgency training at Camp Eldridge of the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) in Los Baños in 2010.

PNP Director General Raul M. Bacalzo has placed under investigation Senior Inspector Leopoldo Ferrer Jr. and Senior Inspector Clinton Rex Jamorol over the chilli torture incident which occurred in March 2010, a video of which had turned up at the Commission on Human Rights.


Command responsibility


Ferrer was the commanding officer of the police trainees while Jamorol was the director of the training course.

Although the two officers did not directly participate in what was believed to be an initiation rite, Calabarzon Police Director Gil Meneses said they were sacked under the doctrine of command responsibility.

The video showed the victims being forced to eat fistfuls of red-hot chillies by men who were presumably their trainers, and being ordered to remove their pants to have chillies rubbed over their genitals and buttocks, causing them to cry out in pain.

In a report to President Aquino, Bacalzo said all 15 PNP Scout trainers identified in the video clips had been relieved effective Aug. 1 and placed under restrictive custody at Camp Vicente Lim.

Fact-finding group

A fact-finding probe by a Special Investigation Task Group headed by Meneses, has been launched, along with a parallel administrative investigation by the Internal Affairs Service.


The 15 trainers facing investigation are: 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, Alberto Umali and Crisanto Victorio.

Bacalzo said they face administrative and criminal charges, including for violating the Anti-Hazing Law.

“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.

Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said the 17 policemen can no longer call themselves law enforcers “as they have no place in the police service.”

Concerned that the chilli torture incident might discourage potential police recruits, Meneses assured the public that it was an isolated case.

Zero tolerance

“We are exercising zero tolerance on hazing and excessive punishment in any police training camp,” he said.

He said he would be calling the junior officers under him for a “serious talk” and to remind them that training programs and exercises are meant to develop physical fitness and not to harm or inflict pain.

“Such practice may leave irreversible effects (on the trainees),” Meneses said.

The hazing victims have already joined the police force and have been deployed to various police units.

RPSB commander Supt. Omega Jireh Fidel called the hazing “inhuman” and said it was not being tolerated in the battalion.

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The RPSB, formerly called the Regional Mobile Group, directly recruits police officers to undergo a one-year anti-insurgency course at Camp Eldridge.

TAGS: Calabarzon

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