MANILA—Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to punish police officers involved int the “hidden cell” found at the Manila Police District Station 1 in Tondo.
In an interview, Cayetano said that these cops should immediately be charged and punished so as not to taint the reputation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as an institution further.
“Kasuhan ang dapat kasuhan. Huwag nating sirain ang buong institusyon (Charge those who need to be charged. Let’s not destroy the image of the whole institution),” Cayetano told reporters in an interview.
Cayetano, a staunch supporter of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, said the chief of the Tondo police station and 12 members of the station’s Drug Enforcement Unit were already relieved from their posts following the discovery of the hidden cell.
He also said that the hidden cell issue should be considered as an “isolated case” stressing that the Duterte administration does not tolerate human rights violations.
“We should not tolerate any abuse. One violation does not mean it is happening everywhere and that it is a government policy,” he added.
He also clarified that he did not deny that there were human rights violations but stressed that the violations were not state-sponsored.
“Hindi natin sinasabi na walang human rights violations. Ang sinasabi natin, hindi ito State-sponsored, hindi ito systemic, at hindi ito widespread. Ina-address ito (We’re not saying there are no human rights violations. What we are saying is that these are not state-sponsored, these are not systemic and these are not widespread. These are being addressed),” he added.