Secret jail with 'torture roulette' discovered in Biñan, Laguna

10 policemen relieved from posts for alleged violations

Fifteen detainees, who showed bruises on their bodies and bloodstains on their clothes, accused 10 members of the PNP Laguna Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) District Office in Biñan, Laguna of torture and maltreatment.

Most of the detainees were arrested for cases involving drugs. They claimed that the policemen tortured them to force them to give information about where they got drugs.

Extortion and drinking sprees

"On the dates of their arrest they were tortured already and while in detention there, there were attempts to extort money from them in exchange for lesser offenses. There were also incidents where they were tortured while police officers (engaged in a drinking spree)," said Commission on Human Rights (CHR) official Jacqueline Ann de Guia.

Following an investigation on the said violations, the following policemen were relieved from their posts: Chief Insp. Arnold Formento, SPO1 Alexander Asis, PO3 Freddie Ramos, PO2 Marc Julius Caesar, PO2 Aldwin Tibuc, PO2 Melmar Baybado Viray, PO1 Nelson Caribo, SPO2 Bernardino Artisen, P02 Mateo Cailo, and P02 Renan Galang.

Secret cell and torture games

The case took an even more horrifying turn when CHR investigators discovered a detention cell inside the police compound. "Under the law the PNP is required to submit an updated list of their detention facilities... Wala doon yung PIB," De Guia said.

Authorities also found a roulette inside the compound, which is reminiscent of the ones used in game shows.

The roulette spun around and wherever it stopped determined the kind of torture that the detainees would be subjected to.

For example, the roulette segment that was marked with the word "Paniki," meant that the detainee would be hung upside down for 30 seconds. Another segment that was marked with the name "Manny Pacquiao" meant that a detainee would be punched for 20 seconds.

Chilling findings

CHR chairperson Etta Ann Rosales said, "It's quite chilling. We are not tolerating these criminals or the crimes that they have been arrested for but we also recognize that the law accords to them imprisonment as a punishment but they should not be tortured or maltreated while in prison."

For now, the detainees have been transferred to Camp Vicente Lim to ensure their safety.

An report revealed that PNP spokesman Supt. Wilben Mayor disclosed that they are still investigating the allegations. He said, "Ini-imbestigahan pa ito based doon sa mga allegations nga ng mga complainants. Under sila (police officers) ng restrictive custody, so nasa custody sila ngayon ng Provincial Admin and Holding Unit dito sa Laguna."

The CHR has asked the policemen to give their side, as well as explain the secret jail and "torture roulette."

READ MORE: UN says prison overcrowding can be form of "torture"

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