Woman's strip search was a 'demo', cop claims

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 05 2018 01:46 AM | Updated as of Jul 05 2018 03:20 PM

MANILA - An investigation is underway after video clips of drug suspects undergoing a strip search inside Makati City police station, with male and female police officers smiling, emerged Wednesday.

Makati City police chief Rogelio Simon said they will get to the bottom of the controversy.

"Dahil pulis sila na dapat nangangalaga ng karapatan ng bawat tao, lalong lalo na sa babae na dapat pinapangalagaan natin at sa tingin ko nalabag nga dito," he said in an interview on "Bandila sa DZMM."

The video clips, which were given to ABS-CBN News by a former anti-drug operative, reportedly took place inside the Drug Enforcement Unit of the Makati City police station sometime in March 2017.

Four police officers, including the DEU chief, appeared to be laughing during the procedure.

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Initial investigation showed it was reportedly a demonstration of a strip search, Simon was told.

"Totoo may nangyaring ganiyan...Hindi as drug suspect 'yung tao, kumbaga parang nag-demo, 'yun ang alleged ng opisyal," he said.

The female drug suspect, Simon was told, consented to the procedure for monetary consideration.

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"Pumayag naman because of the money na ibibigay nila," he claimed.

Strip search, Simon said, are normally carried out based on a reasonable suspicion that illegal drugs may have been concealed.

But this particular case set off red flags because it was not done properly, he added.

Strip search, wherein a person is asked to remove clothes and bend over, must be performed inside a private room and by a person of the same sex.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Guillermo Eleazar has already ordered the relief of the involved police officers pending a full investigation.

Simon said they are also getting the statement of the female drug suspect shown in the video.

"Aalamin natin ang lahat. Kukuha rin tayo ng witnesses na nakakaalam sa pangyayari," he said. - with a report from Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News