Drilon urges PNP to prosecute, not defend, cops with hidden jails
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Sunday called for an end to police excesses and impunity in the war on drugs, as he urged proper authorities to swiftly investigate and prosecute the policemen behind the “secret jail” found inside a police station in Tondo, Manila.
“I condemn this illegal, inhumane and outrageous action committed by some of our policemen," Drilon said in a statement.
The senator’s statement comes after the Commission on Human Rights team on April 27 discovered at least 12 men and women allegedly detained in a detainee cell hidden behind a bookshelf at the Manila Police District (MPD) Station 1 formerly headed by Police Superintendent Robert Domingo.
"I am alarmed by this culture of impunity among our policemen. Not a single police officer has been held criminally liable in the death of thousands of the casualties of the campaign against drugs," Drilon said.
Drilon noted how the wheels of justice have been slow in prosecuting policemen such as Supt. Marvin Marcos, tagged in the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr, as well as policemen who were involved in the killing of Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo.
Drilon, a former justice secretary, said MPD’s hidden cell violates the Constitution itself, as well as provisions of the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 and the Revised Penal Code.
“There is no doubt about the illegality of this type of detention. This is even enshrined under Section 12(2), Article III the Constitution, which explicitly prohibits ‘secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention,’” he said.
Drilon said Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald dela Rosa and the entire PNP leadership should pursue a more decisive stance against erring cops of the MPS Station 1 and similar allegations of abuse, noting the police chief’s reaction to the issue has been "gravely disappointing.”
"I do not see how General dela Rosa can say that his cops did nothing wrong, when the Constitution and the law is clear that having a secret detention is illegal,” Drilon said.
Drilon said rather than dismiss the issue, Dela Rosa should be "disturbed about the rise in cases of police brutality and abuses under his watch." DMS