Sen. Chiz Condemns Military Torture Video and Culture of Impunity


Congressman Francis "Chiz" EscuderoImage via WikipediaA press release of the Senate of the Philippines, March 22, 2011


"How can we call for an end to the culture of impunity among our government agents dealing with people in government custody when they also do it to their very own men?" Senator Chiz Escudero asked.

Escudero posed this question after the so-called torture video found its way to the net, showing men in uniform beating up a group of recruits with sticks and ropes. In the video, the trainees, obviously in excruciating pain, could be heard in screaming.

According to Escudero, chairman of both the committees on justice and human rights and the national defense and security in the Senate, this clearly calls for reforms on moral and ethical trainings in the military and police.
"This culture of impunity does not make a loyal, disciplined, obedient and fierce soldier. The recruits undergo training, and rigorous it should be for them, but the design should be geared toward molding their characters into warriors who can follow lawful orders.
The training showed they are being trained to become fierce animals without reasons." Escudero said.


Escudero stressed that such acts had no place in a civil and democratic society like ours and was clearly a violation of the anti-torture law the senator sponsored in the Senate.


"The law was crafted precisely to stop the culture of impunity which has been found prevalent not only in government institutions nowadays but also in facilities on the other side of government. It is a law that should uphold every aspect of human rights," he said.

Escudero challenged the present military leadership to conduct a thorough review of its policies and programs to improve the quality of its graduates not only in terms of their physical training and abilities, but also in terms of the overall makeup of the soldiers it produces.

"Our military trainers should bear in mind that discipline is not acquired only through physical and mental stress. The primary training that should be instilled in the trainees' minds is the privileged position they are in for having the duty and honor to serve their country and their people" Escudero said.