MANILA - The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has sought the creation of a National Preventive Mechanism to prevent torture especially in detention facilities, prisons and mental institutions.
CHR Chair Chito Gascon said that while there is an existing interim mechanism, the creation of a more permanent body through legislation is mandated by the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
“Saying to the world that torture does not happen? The reality is, it occurs on a daily basis,” Gascon said.
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III and Representatives Cheryl Deloso-Montalla and Kit Belmonte expressed support for the passage of a bill establishing the mechanism that would ensure regular jail visitations, among others.
“Kung wala naman tayong tinatago, bakit tayo matatakot sa un-announced visits?, Pimentel asked.
(If we're not hiding anything, why should we be scared of unannounced visits?)
The Bureau of Corrections, the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) also expressed support for the move.
“We are proud to announce we have no incident of torture in our jails,” BJMP lawyer Arvin Llego said.