Chiz lauds Senate
ratification of Anti-torture Bill
By Office of Sen. Chiz Escudero
PASAY CITY –
Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero on Wednesday lauded the Senate
ratification of the reconciled version on the anti-torture bill,
saying it is a landmark piece of legislation that will alleviate the
deplorable state of human rights in the country.
“This is victory
against human rights violators. Torture is to be abhorred. Torturers
should be put away for life," said the 39-year old lawmaker who
steered the passage of the measure in the Senate as chair of the
Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
“I urge our House
colleagues to do the same. This is one measure which all of us can be
proud of,” Escudero said.
Last week, the
Senate-House Bicameral Conference Committee reconciled the two
versions of the anti-torture bill, which seeks to penalize
perpetrators of the act, particularly persons in authority or those
acting on their behalf.
It penalizes all forms
of torture, be it physical, mental, psychological and pharmacological,
which is done through the administration of drugs.
criminalizing torture, Escudero said the bill prohibits the use of
“secret detention centers” by state authorities.
If passed into law,
State authorities such as the police and the military are required to
submit to the Commission on Human Rights a list of all their detention
centers on a monthly basis.
“No more secret or
clandestine hideouts or holding areas where torture is most of the
time performed,” he said.
The senator added that
perpetrators of torture including their superiors face a maximum
penalty of reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment. Other penalties
range from a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 12 years depending on
the gravity of the offense.
The bill also includes
provisions for the protection of complainants and witnesses and
persons involved in the prosecution, and the establishment of a
rehabilitation program for victims.
Under the bill, no
justification can be offered to justify torture and other inhuman
punishments, which will be declared as criminal acts.