PHILIPPINES: Hearing for administrative case on policemen who tortured a boy set for April 25


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAU-021-2011
ISSUES: Arbitrary arrest & detention, Child rights, Inhuman & degrading treatment, Torture, Victims assistance & protection,

Dear friends, 

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you that the People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) in Kidapawan City, a quasi-judicial body who will hear the administrative case on five police officers, including a police commander, for torturing a 17-year-old boy, is set to be heard on April 25, 2011


In our previous appeal (AHRC-UAC-063-2011), we have mentioned that Jhon Paul Nerio had been tortured in the police custody after his arrest on December 11, 2010. We have also sent Urgent Appeal letters to the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Manila on March 15 asking them to investigate. 

On the same day, Ms. Persida Rueda-Acosta, chief of the PAO, endorsed the AHRC’s appeal letter to Mr. Orlando Dano, the Officer-in-Charge of the PAO’s District Office in Kidapawan City, giving him ten days to submit a report on what action they have taken. The PAO lawyers contacted the victim, Jhon Paul Nerio; and his parents, Pablito and Onyx, to appear at the PAO office where they had given testimonies. 

On March 28, 2011, the victim, his parents and the PAO, filed criminal case at the City Prosecutor’s Office, “for violation of Republic Act 7610, or the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination” and for an administrative case at the People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB), for “for abuse of authority, police brutality and violation of their sworn duties and responsibilities”. 

On April 1, the AHRC has written to Mr. Orlando Dano “urging him to also prosecute the policemen involve for violation of the Anti-Torture Act of 2009” when it learned that the charges he had filed did not include torture. The AHRC argued that “the alleged act of the policemen involve, as the victim described in his sworn statement of the complaint, clearly falls as violation as defined by the Anti-Torture Act”. 

On March 30, all the five police officers had received the subpoena from Fernando Cubero, chairperson of the PLEB in Kidapawan City, “giving the respondents five (5) days to file answer under OATH in six (6) copies to the Board”. The respondents, through P/Superintendent Alexander Tagum, Company Commander of the Cotabato Provincial Public Safety Company, had filed a “Motion for the extension of submission of answer”. 

In an Open Letter on April 14, the AHRC has already expressed concern as to how the PLEB is handling the administrative case (Admin Case No. 11-02) at the early stage. 

The AHRC questioned the credibility and impartiality of P/Supt. Tagum when he filed the motion for extension on behalf of the respondents, particularly P/Insp. Joan Resurreccion; the lack of justification in delaying the proceedings and the failure of the PLEB to immediately request for Preventive Suspension on the policemen involve. 

In the subpoena that the PLEB has sent to the policemen, it has required the five policemen involved “to appear and be present at the hearing” of the case on April 25, 2011. The AHRC urges interested persons and groups who are concern in this case to be present at and to observe the hearing. The details are below: 

Complainant: Jhon Paul Nerio 
Office hearing the case: People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB), Kidapawan City 
The Complaint: Registered as (Admin Case No. 11-02) for abuse of authority, police brutality and violation of their sworn duties and responsibilities 
1. P/Insp. Joan Resurreccion 
2. P03 Renato Servidad 
3. P02 Aileen Jauod 
4. P02 Bembol Malaluan 
5. P02 Jovan Mapandi 
Date and venue of the hearing: April 25, 2011 at 2pm, at the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) Hall, Kidapawan City. 

Thank you. 

Urgent Appeals Programme 
Asian Human Rights Commission (