Officers Held Over Manila Police ‘torture’ Video

Philippine authorities are holding 11 policemen amid a probe into an alleged torture video filmed at a Manila police station.

A woman watches a television news programme showing footage of a policeman allegedly torturing a naked man in Manila. Philippines police have suspended an entire Manila precinct and put 20 officers under investigation amid public outrage over the graphic video, which was taken on a cellphone.

The officers, among them a mid-ranking policeman, are to face a disciplinary hearing on Friday, according to Chief Superintendent Roberto Rongavilla, head of a police task force investigating the incident.

The graphic recording, which has enraged the Philippine public since it was broadcast on Tuesday, showed a man in civilian clothes whipping a naked man writhing on a white tiled floor.

In between blows the torturer yanked a rope that appeared to be tied to the victim’s penis.

“These people (the officers) are now under the custody of the Manila police,” said Rongavilla, adding that a formal complaint will be read against the men.

“The internal affairs office has issued summons and an initial hearing will be held this afternoon,” he said.

All 11 had been posted at the Asuncion community police precinct in the high-crime Manila slum district of Tondo, but were suspended after public outcry sparked a government investigation.

While allegations of torture and extra-judicial killings carried out by police and military are nothing new, the broadcast of the video was the first time such an incident has been seen on public television.

Local network ABS-CBN, which broadcast the clip, did not say when the incident took place, and the fate of the victim was unclear. It said an unnamed informant took the footage with a mobile phone.

Rongavilla told ABS-CBN that the investigation will also look into allegations that the officer accused of torturing the naked man had committed similar offences.

“Many people are coming out alleging their sons and husbands had been given similar treatment,” he added.

“The investigation will attempt to establish a time frame and the dates when the alleged actions took place,” Rongavilla added.


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