'Torture roulette' found in secret police jail

from a report by Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 24 2014 11:31 PM | Updated as of Jan 26 2014 01:27 AM

10 Laguna cops sacked, face probe

LAGUNA - Imagine spinning a roulette and instead of winning money, you'll be tortured.

Ten members of the PNP Laguna Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) District Office in Binan have been sacked for alleged torture and maltreatment of 15 detainees.

Relieved from their posts were Chief Insp. Arnold Formento, SPO1 Alexander Asis, PO3 Freddie Ramos, PO2 Marc Julius Caesar, PO2 Aldwin Tibuc, PO2 Melmar Baybado Viray, PO1 Nelson Caribo, SPO2 Bernardino Artisen, P02 Mateo Cailo, and P02 Renan Galang.

Detainees under their care allegedly had bruises on the buttocks and thighs, wounds on their arms, and blood stains on their clothes.

Detainees alleged that they were subjected to torture by the Laguna police officers to make them reveal their source of illegal drugs.

"On the dates of their arrest they were tortured already and while in detention there, there were attempts to extort money from them in exchange for lesser offenses. There were also incidents where they were tortured while in drinking spree ang mga police officers," said Commission on Human Rights (CHR) official Jacqueline Ann de Guia.

'Torture roulette'

Authorities also discovered an undisclosed detention center inside the police office.

"Under the law, the PNP is required to submit an updated list of their detention facilities," de Guia said. "Wala doon yung PIB."

Inside the office, authorities found a roulette that has various markings.

The roulette is allegedly spun around by police officers during "torture time."

Where the marker stops determines the kind of torture the detainees will experience.

The roulette marking "Paniki" means a detainee will be hung upside down for 30 seconds, while "Manny Pacquiao" means a detainee will be mauled for 20 seconds.

"In many places, it seems torture is still considered standard operating procedure by some law enforcement personnel," CHR chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales said.

"It's quite chilling. We are not tolerating these criminals or the crimes that they have been arrested for but we also recognize that the law accords to them imprisonment as a punishment but they should not be tortured or maltreated while in prison," she added.

The CHR's regional office based in San Pablo City was earlier tipped off by the Public Attorney's Office about reports of torture at police office.

The CHR's initial investigation found grim pictures of life as a detainee inside the PIB office, where beatings, threats and humiliation at the hands of police officers are allegedly the norm.

PNP spokesman Supt. Wilben Mayor said they are still investigating the allegations.

"Ini-imbestigahan pa ito based doon sa mga allegations nga ng mga complainants. Under sila (police officers) ng restrictive custody, so nasa custody sila ngayon ng Provincial Admin and Holding Unit dito sa Laguna," he said.

The CHR has asked the policemen to give their side, as well as explain the secret jail and "torture roulette."

The detainees have been transferred to Camp Vicente Lim to ensure their safety. - with ANC