By Hannah Torregoza
Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership to prosecute rather than defend policemen behind the secret jail found inside a police station in Tondo, Manila.
Drilon said police impunity and excesses in the ongoing war on illegal drugs must stop as he called on authorities to swiftly investigate and indict law enforcers responsible for the inhumane treatment of drug suspects which the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) had earlier discovered.
“I condemn this illegal, inhumane and outrageous action committed by some of our policemen,” Drilon said in a statement.
“I am alarmed by this culture of impunity among our policemen. Not a single police officer has been held criminally liable in the death of thousands of the casualties of the campaign against drugs,” Drilon stressed.
The CHR, on April 27, discovered at least 12 men and women detained illegally in a detainee cell hidden behind a bookshelf at the Manila Police District (MPD) Station 1 formerly headed by Police Superintendent Robert Domingo.
Read more: CHR raids ‘hidden cell’ inside MPD Station 1
A former justice secretary himself, Drilon said that the MPD’s hidden cell violates the Constitution itself, as well as provisions of the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 and the Revised Penal Code.
“There is no doubt about the illegality of this type of detention. This is even enshrined under Section 12 (2), Article III the Constitution, which explicitly prohibits ‘secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention,” he said.