• CHR wants police officers behind secret cell punished

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    The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) wants the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Office of the Ombudsman to punish police officers behind the use of a secret detention cell in Tondo, Manila.

    The CHR has referred the matter to the Office of the Ombudsman for investigation.

    “We are confident that the investigation of this matter will result in the finding of probable cause to charge the Manila Police District (MPD) personnel involved with violations of all relevant penal provisions under existing law, as well as their administrative liabilities for their violations of police operational procedures and international human rights standards,” the commission said in a statement.

    “We hope that the PNP will fully cooperate with the CHR and the Office of the Ombudsman in holding the erring police officers accountable for their actions and lapses that have violated their mandate and motto ‘to serve and protect’,” it added.

    Commissioner Karen Dumpit went to the Ombudsman’s office in Quezon City to submit the agency’s report on the airless cell found in MPD Station1.

    The CHR said the use of closet-sized cell which had no light or windows is one of the most “shocking and dehumanizing violations of the rights” of detainees.

    “The detainees were discovered to have slept in sitting position for lack of space and with no provision of beds, and that some had not eaten for days. Some detainees have also alleged that they were beaten and electrocuted,” it added.

    “We will be continuing our own investigations on the matter and cooperate with the Office of the Ombudsman for the speedy resolution of this case,” it said.

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