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Senate probe on ‘secret jail’ urged

A resolution calling for a Senate investigation into the discovery of a secret jail cell inside a Manila police station has been filed in the Senate.

Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV filed Senate Resolution No. 348 saying it is imperative that Congress looks into the veracity of the Commission on Human Rights’ (CHR) exposé and into the reported abuses committed by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in light of the Duterte administration’s war against drugs.

Aquino said the Bill of Rights expressly prohibits torture, force, violence or other means that vitiates free will; cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment; secret places of detention, solitary or incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention and any methods that violate a person’s right to remain silent, to be presumed innocent and to incriminate themselves.

The law, particularly the Republic Act No. 9745, otherwise known as the “Anti-Torture Act of 2009,” he said also explicitly prohibits “secret detention places, where torture may be carried out with impunity.

He also pointed out that the law also requires the military and police to publicly disclose lists of al detention facilities and the names of the detainees, the dates they were arrested, and the charges against them, in addition to submitting such lists to the CHR. (HANNAH TORREGOZA)