HANOI–Ten national police officers in the Philippines have been fired for torturing detainees in a twisted game of “roulette,” according to human rights officials and activists.
"For police officers to use torture 'for fun' is despicable," said Amnesty International, the London-based human rights advocacy group. "These are abhorrent acts."
The case was revealed at an undisclosed detention facility, primarily used in drug-related investigations, in Laguna province on the northern Philippine island of Luzon. A roulette wheel, apparently hand-made, had sections with words such as "30 seconds bat" and "20 seconds Manny Pacman," the latter referring to Manny Pacquiao, a national boxing hero. The officers allegedly hung a suspect upside down for 30 seconds or kept punching him for 20 seconds according to where the needle lay when the wheel stopped whirling.
The practice came to light during investigations by the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines and other parties.
The Philippine National Police had dismissed the 10 officers involved in the case as of Feb. 5 and has begun looking for any other similar cases.
Forty-four individuals have so far come forward as victims of the practice, sources said.