The Philippine Senate’s decision to open an inquiry today into widespread police torture in the country is a promising development in the battle against impunity, Amnesty International said.
“This inquiry is a welcome first step towards tackling entrenched impunity within the Philippine police force,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, speaking from Manila.
“The government’s next step should be two truly independent systems, one for monitoring places of detention and one unified and effective institution to investigate and prosecute police abuse.”
The Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights passed the resolution opening the inquiry in response to evidence contained in an Amnesty International report, Above the Law: Police Torture in the Philippines, which launched in Manila earlier today. The report found that police have tortured hundreds of detainees with total impunity.
The police force itself tried to play down its failures, citing an incorrect figure to understate the number of torture complaints made to the Philippine Commission for Human Rights in 2013.