CHR probes death of Maguindanao inmate

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR), in coordination with the Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission, will look into the death of an inmate in Barira, Maguindanao.

Johairie Dagalangit, 25, died a day after he surrendered to the Barira police on Sept. 25 after a child died when hit by his motorcycle in a road accident.

Police said Dagalangit, who was detained pending an amicable settlement with the family of the victim, died “due to a nightmare.”

However, Dagalangit’s father said the body of his son bore signs of torture. He said his son had no wound or injury when he was turned over by barangay authorities to the local police.

“CHR reiterates its stern reminder against all forms of police brutality that equate to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” the commission said in a statement issued yesterday.

“The prohibition against torture is absolute and no circumstance can justify it as outlined in the Anti-Torture Act and the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,” it said.

The CHR welcomed the decision of Maguindanao police director Col. Roel Sermese to replace the head of the Barira police and several of his men to pave the way to an impartial investigation.

“It is crucial that truth be uncovered swiftly to aid in attaining justice. Allegations of torture must be firmly tackled to demonstrate seriousness in exacting accountability and prevent similar future incidents of abuse of authority,” the CHR said.


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