United Against Torture Coalition (UATC) - Philippines
26 June 2020
Torture free Philippines should be the “new normal”
Today 26 June, the United Against Torture Coalition (UATC)-Philippines, a broad network of human rights organizations and human rights defenders together with its partners, In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND), Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP), are one with the world in commemoration of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture and in contributing to the campaign for the absolute prohibition of torture in all corners of the world.
On this day in 1987, the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into effect. The Philippines acceded to this Convention on 18 June 1986.
Torture is an unequivocal crime. Under the UN Convention against Torture, it is prohibited under all circumstances, without exception. Yet torture is still commonplace and systematically being practiced by many States including the Philippines in the conduct of custodial investigation under the guise of combatting terrorism, curbing criminality, and maintaining peace and order, which risk eroding constitutional and other legal protections. While the Philippines is considered one of its kind in Asia for criminalizing torture as a specific criminal offense with the passage of the Anti-Torture Act in 2009, however the Philippine government failed to fully and effectively implement the law with reported cases of torture and ill treatment continue unabated.