Regional trade union center slams PNP hazing

Regional trade union center Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan-Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMANTIK-KMU) expresses its strong condemnation on the recently exposed hazing of Philippine National Police (PNP) recruits which transpired in Camp Eldridge, Los Baños, Laguna.

On August 3, 2011, a policeman sent by to the Commission on Human Rights a video record of the said hazing, showing various rituals done to several police trainees in March 2010 as part of the special counter-insurgency unit training in CALABARZON.  The trainees were caught on camera while in their underwear, blindfolded, and physically harassed by their superiors through rubbing hot chili pepper on their genitals.  Another video showed a group of trainees vomiting after being forced to eat hot chili pepper and drink water with black pepper.

PAMANTIK-KMU Chairperson Noel Alemania said that these inhumane acts are no longer new to the people of Southern Tagalog, moreover to workers from different factories and special economic zones.

“It is unsurprising that they (the PNP and the military) carry out ruthless practices within their ranks, because their lack of respect for human rights is plain and evident from an outsider’s point of view,” Alemania said.

“The continuing culture of brutality amongst supposed law enforcers are likewise witnessed and first-handedly experienced by workers in the region.  The PNP alongside the military have been consistent instruments of various local and foreign companies in suppressing their workers, particularly in doing surveillance routines and implementing violent dispersals in strikes and rallies, and worse, torturing and assassinating union leaders who are continuously demonized and red-tagged,” he added.

Numerous cases of harassment among workers have been documented in Southern Tagalog, where alleged culprits include members of the police, military and other paramilitary entities.  Alemania stated that these can also be attributed to the counter-insurgency program implemented in the region.

“No wonder these counter-insurgency units are merciless and cruel. They are trained and coached by senior officers who do not respect even their colleagues’ human rights,” he said.

PAMANTIK-KMU calls on the government to immediately put an end to these inhuman practices within the PNP.  “As long as they instill a mindset of brutality amongst their trainees and aspiring officers, the PNP as a whole will never be able to protect human rights and serve their purpose of upholding the rule of law,” Alemania ended.###