Group calls for justice and freedom for victims of torture

This article is available in Pilipino

On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture yesterday, June 26, SELDA (Association of Ex-Detainees Against Detention and Arrest) protested in front of the Department of Justice to call for justice for all victims of torture, including victims who remain imprisoned to this day. They also called for the release of all political prisoners who are being held on trumped-up charges.

One of the cases brought by the group is the illegal arrest, torture and continued detention of Ernesto Jude Rimando, a labor researcher in Cebu. Rimando was arrested by the PNP-CIDG in Quezon City on January 6, 2021 by virtue of a warrant for a certain “Allan Morales.” He was blindfolded, tortured and subjected to interrogation. He was in Quezon City at the time to seek treatment for liver cirrhosis. During his three years in prison, his illness progressed to Stage 4 liver cancer. He is now fighting for his life at the Philippine General Hospital after contracting pneumonia. The group called for his immediate release so that he can be cared for by his family in his final days.

The group is also calling for the immediate release of youth activists John Griefen Arlegui and Reynaldo Remias Jr who were arrested by the police on April 13, 2019. The two were posting posters for candidate Neri Colmenares when they were arrested and subjected to torture. The police hid them before taking them to a police station in Bulacan where they have been detained up to the present.

Other prominent cases involve the torture of Dumagats Rocky Torres and Avellardo Avellanida who are currently incarcerated in the Metro Manila District Jail in Taguig City.

“Torture is common in prisons and detention facilities in the Philippines,” SELDA said. “This is worse for political prisoners because their imprisonment is unjust and they should not remain there for another minute.”

SELDA called for an end to the pernicious practice of torture, whether in its direct form or through slow executions and the lack of dignity suffered by prisoners in congested jails.

AB: Group calls for justice and freedom for victims of torture