Philippine cops have ‘torture chamber, use it for amusement’

MANILA The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has revealed the existence of a secret police “torture chamber” in Laguna province in Southern Luzon where the detainees were reportedly maltreated for the “amusement” of policemen whenever they got drunk.

Loretta Rosales, the CHR chairman, told a media briefing the chamber was located in a detention facility maintained by the Philippine National Police (PNP) provincial intelligence unit in the town of Binan, Laguna.

Rosales said the discovery arose from complaints filed before the CHR by some of the detainees arrested for possession of illegal drugs that they suffered beatings, electrocution and other forms of physical abuses at the hands of the policemen.

“This is about preventing the state from using coercive power to hurt innocent civilians through its agents,” Rosales stressed.

Aside from the torture, Rosales said the complainants claimed the policemen tried to extort money in exchange for the filing of a lesser offense against them.

As a result, the PNP ordered the immediate relief and filing of administrative charges of grave misconduct against the 10 policemen allegedly involved headed by Chief Inspector Arnold Formento, according to Rosales.

“It came as a surprise that the police intelligence unit had detainees in their office because they should have turned them over to the police stations,” lawyer Jacqueline dela Pena, the head of the CHR regional office, reported to Rosales.