Tolentino leads dialogue with UN panel on protection for prisoners

December 7, 2023 People's Journal 107 views

SENATOR Francis “Tol” Tolentino led on Tuesday the public dialogue with the members of United Nations subcommittee on prevention of torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.

UN’s Jack Pope, Bushan Domah, and Shujune Muhammad attended the dialogue to come up with processes that would make the Philippines compliant with the UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT).

Tolentino noted at the dialogue that “the Philippines has been doing its best to comply with all the treaty obligations, including having our own national preventive mechanism (NPM).”

He was referring to the pending SB 2486 or NPM bill of Sen. Lito Lapid that shall ensure that there will be no tortures in jails and other detention facilities in the country.

“Ito po ay para maging transparent ang ating mga kulungan— makabisita at madalaw ang mga nakakulong, di lang iyong nasa national penitentiary, maging ‘yong mga immigration detention centers, at temporary detention centers,” Sen. Tol said.

Subsequently, the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights Chairman told Senate reporters that the measure, which has been awaited by the UN for ten years now, will ensure protection of Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) from torture.

“Para mahadlangan iyong torture, cruel and unusual punishment sa iba’t- ibang detention center na in violation sa Convention na ating nilagdaan,” Tolentino further concluded.

Senator Tolentino will co-sponsor the NPM bill and will conduct deliberations by January 2024.