Gov’t should probe AFP torture “training” video

Posted: March 19, 2011 in Human Rights, War on Terror
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The Aquino government should probe a video showing what appears to be members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines training recruits to withstand supposed torture if they are captured by the enemy.

The video was shows personnel purportedly from the 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army hitting recruits. The so-called training involves whipping the soldiers and other degrading treatment such as making them crawl in the mud.

The video was posted by the underground video group Isnayp. According to its YouTube account “ISNAYP releases the following video footage handed over by some soldiers of the 9th Infantry Division Philippine Army based in Kuta Elias Angeles, Pili, Camarines Sur. The AFP’s 9th IDPA directs all military activities in the whole of the Bicol region. This footage covers a significant part of the army recruits’ months-long training (ECO2 Cl 185-08). Dismayed soldiers of the 9th IDPA submitted this video to the National Democratic Front-Bicol to protest the maltreatment and abuse carried out by the Training Unit of the 9th IDPA.”
“The following video exposes various types of torture inflicted by the 9th IDPA Training Unit on the trainees. According to the upset soldiers who submitted the video, the extremely cruel exercises supposedly prepares the trainees in the eventualities that they will be captured by red fighters of the New People’s Army,” Isnayp says.

The video certainly raises serious questions on the professionalism and conduct of the AFP.

Are these training methods actually sanctioned by the AFP? Is this how recruits are prepared by the institution? Would not these methods also encourage soldiers to commit torture which is a serious human rights violation?

Not only is the AFP institution rotten because of corruption. It is also rotten because it fails to observe human rights. It apparently inflicts violence even on its own personnel. It’s just sick.

The AFP personnel in the video should be identified and made to explain their actions. The commanding general of the 9th ID as well as the head of the 9th ID’s training unit should also be investigated. The AFP should be teaching human rights and not torture methods.

Patriotic elements within the AFP should come out and expose these cruel and degrading treatment of recruits, done in the name of “training”. These practices erode the professionalism of the AFP and encourages human rights abuses.

The Aquino government should probe human rights issues  in the AFP with the same fervor as corruption.


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