A naked man lying on the floor grimacing in pain each time his torturer pulls the string attached to his genitals. This was the scenery shown on TV last Tuesday. The incident happend at the Police Station in Asuncion St, Tondo District and the Torturer was no less than the PNP’s multi awarded Precinct Commander Senior Inspector Joselito Binayug. The victim, an alleged hold upper is said to have died. Although it was not confirmed whether he died of the torture or some other cause.
The incident gained universal condemnation among Filipinos and various sectors. The cruelty shown was very inhumane and barbaric. Some even called it devilish. But what’s most frustrating is the fact that the very perpetrator is the police itself, from the ones tasked to protect the citizenry. This puts at stake worsening public image of the police force, but for as long as there are incidents like these, for as long as police brutality is not suppressed, there will always be public condemnation.
It is just right that the law shall extend to the fullest, to penalize Inspector Binayug, along with his men who just watched while he committed the crime of torture at the police station. The other policemen, should suffer equal punishment, for just watching and never had done anything to stop their superior. It is a violation of their mandate, to tolerate a crime happening before their very eyes and not doing anything to prevent or stop it.
According to DOJ Secretary Leila Delima, this incident is the best case, to test the recently passed Anti Torture Act of 2009, and see if it can be an effective tool for greater accountability and diminished impunity among our Law Enforcement Agents.
Before they fully developed this culture of torturing their victims in order to get a plea, it is urgent that the government should impose zero tolerance against this growing practice. This in itself, is a high form of heinous crime and therefore, Binayug and his men should not be excused. They so deserve reclusion perpetua and subsequent discharge from office. A strong message has to be sent to our militia men, to stop torture as a tool in what they claim to be their easy way to solve crimes.
Torture is not exclusive to any agency or group, and there is a swift and tough punishment for anyone engaged in it. That, everyone should understand.