The Commission on Human Rights announced today that it is investigating the alleged rape, detention, and extortion of two women by Cebu City cops.
Although the 11 officers working at the Cebu City Police Station 6 are currently facing criminal charges, the commission’s Region VII office launched an independent probe to determine if a “secret jail” exists in the station and if other human rights violations have been committed.
“The regional body is already in constant coordination with the women complainants and working together with Philippine National Police’s Integrity Monitoring and Enhancement Group Visayas Field Unit to ensure the safety of the former detainees,” the commission’s spokeswoman Jacqueline Ann de Guia said.
She added that despite the Philippine Constitution and the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 banning “the use of secret detention facilities, the Commission has noted through its investigations around the country that such illegal practice persists in places of detention where cases of torture and other ill-treatment are likely to take place.”
“Women, in particular, are most vulnerable to different forms of violence in places of deprivation of liberty as a means of coercion to elicit confessions, to humiliate and dehumanize them, or merely to use the opportunity of their absolute powerlessness,” she added.
De Guia urged the government to “acknowledge and condemn” the police and other state forces’ use of torture. The government was also told to conduct “prompt, impartial, thorough, and effective investigations” of reports of such human rights violations.
It was earlier this week when the women came forward to accuse the policemen of the violations. The cops who have been charged are:
Corporal Georny Abrasado
Corporal John Carl Aceron
Staff Sergeant Joseph Alcoseba
Staff Sergeant Michael Rhey Cabizares
Staff Sergeant Celso Colita
Chief Master Sergeant Eric Edgar Emia
Corporal Ejill Ferrolino
Corporal Carlo Irizari
Corporal Rochelito Mabulay
Corporal Emmanuel Martinez
Corporal Junel Pedroza
One of the victims said that the policemen arrested her without a warrant in March for alleged illegal possession of firearms. The victim was allegedly brought to the police station where she was detained in the secret room. The cops also allegedly extorted PHP170,000 (US$3,500) from the first victim but the next day, Colita brought her to a motel where he supposedly raped her.
Meanwhile, the second victim said that six of the cops from the same station raided her house after accusing her of being involved in the drug trade. When the cops couldn’t find any drugs in her home, they allegedly stole her jewelry and other possessions. She was also arrested and detained in the secret room in the police station, where she was allegedly tortured by the cops.
This article, Human rights commission probes alleged rape, extortion, and detention of 2 women by Cebu cops, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.