Above are the fotos of anti-torture protest at the headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Quezon City on 21 April 2006 at 1:30pm.
At least 20 youths were having peaceful protest outside the camp when arrogant policemen confiscated their placards and leaflets. The policemen, led by Chief Inspector Joel Ada of the Base Police Office, PNP-HQ, harassed them by arguing that it is it is “illegal to do so”.
Ada’s policemen started asking the protester whether they have permits and tried to take the protesters inside the camp for questioning but the protesters refused to. They dispersed peacefully.
What to do in a country who claims to uphold “freedom of expression and peaceful assembly” but in actual practice speaks otherwise? This policemen arbitrarily using their authority must be sanctioned. They do not deserve their positions and an insult to the police dictum: “to serve and protect”.
Instead of feeling insulted by the placards by the protesters asking them whether are they really there “to serve and protect or to torture?”, and to suppress protesters whose objective is “to speak and be heard” with the sufferings on behalf of their tortured 11 peers, they should reflect on it.
Demands for police reforms and effective investigation can never be eased by suppressing the victim’s voices and seek for justice.
The Government as state party to the Convention against Torture (CAT) by accession must implement this provisions it claims to uphold here and abroad.
Let the law against torture enacted without delay! Let the victims afforded with appropriate medical and trauma treatment! Stop the use of torture in investigation!