Above the Law: Police Torture in the Philippines
A pervasive culture of impunity for torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment within the police force has seen allegations of torture rise year on year in the Philippines, but there has never been a single conviction for torture.
Corruption and impunity fuel abuses, with police electrocuting, beating and raping detainees for extortion, entertainment or to extract a confession. In some cases, officers have even tortured suspects to death.
Torture by numbers
75 – the number of complaints of torture received by the Philippine Commission of Human Rights in 2013
80 – the percentage of those cases where police officers were involved
36 – the number of torture cases investigated by the Ombudsman’s office in 2013. The Ombudsman’s office is an independent agency tasked with investigating complaints against officials
3 – the number of such cases that were referred for prosecution
0 – the number of successful prosecutions resulting from investigations by the Ombudsman’s office
69 – the percentage of Filipinos who believe the police are corrupt, according to Transparency International
55 – the number of torture survivors interviewed for Amnesty International’s new report: 21 were children when they were tortured and two survived being shot and left for dead
5 – the number of years since the Philippine Anti-Torture Act was introduced
0 – the number of torture convictions secured under the Anti-Torture Act
28 – the number of years since the Philippines acceded to the UN Convention Against Torture
Top torture techniques in the Philippines
The Philippines police use an alarming array of torture methods, including:Electric shocksBeatings, punching and kickingStriking with wooden batons or metal barsBurning skin with cigarettesWaterboardingNear-asphyxiation with plastic bagsForcing detainees to assume stress positions Stripping detainees naked and tying and pulling genitalia with a string Hanging detainees upside downMock executionsShooting Rape