A Philippine Human Rights NGO providing Psychosocial Services and Rehabilitation to Internally Displaced Persons and Survivors of Torture and Organized Violence.

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Latest News

Balay has likened to an act of a “thief in the night” the secretive manner of the burial of the late deposed  dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LnmB-“Hero’s Cemetery”) on November 13.  

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The Balay Rehabilitation Center, convener of the United Against Torture Coalition in the Philippines (UATC) and civil society prime mover of the accession of the Philippines to the Optional Protocol To The Convention Against Torture (OPCAT), has organized a forum to mark the tenth anniversary of the entry into force of the OPCAT in Hotel Rembrandt on November 11, 2016.

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Balay was able to document 44 allegations of torture within the third quarter of the year, covering the period July-September 2016. The victims are all residents in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, notably in the island of Basilan where government forces are engaged in a deadly operations against the ‘lawless activities’ of the Abu Sayyaf Group, and in the Davao region and in North Cotabato where the New People’s Army has been posing an armed challenged against the Philippines security forces.

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Torture Prevention and Documentation Gained Inroads Among BJMP Officers

More than 100 jail medical officers and human rightsdesk  officers of the  Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) participated in a two-day seminar on torture monitoring, documentation and reporting on August 27-28, 2015. The activity was jointly organized by Balay and the Directorate for Inmates Welfare and Development (DIWD)  of the BJMP as part of their commitment  to prevent torture in places of detention.  The participants came from more than 40 jails managed by BJMP in the National Capital Region (NCR). The seminar was held in the BJMP National Headquarters (NHQ) in Quezon City.

DIWD Chief Carol Borrinaga and Deputy Director Dr. Irene Lim, Deputy Director presented the BJMP anti-torture policy to the participants and reiterated that torture prevention is congruent with the bureau’s mission of ‘human safekeeping’ of detainees. The participants discussed the  guidelines that they need to observe  and the forms that they will have to use in documenting inmates who may have already been tortured or ill-treated at the time that they have been  sent for safekeeping in jail facilities. They also learned how to interview torture victims and to report to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) any complaint of torture of inmates by custodial authorities.

Atty. Patricia Veramo  and  Dr.  Paul Borlongan, Legal Officer and Medical Section Officer of the BJMP respectively, provided iinputs on the anti-torture law and torture documentation. Balay's Program Coordinator, Kaloy Anasarias, and its Medical Forensic Consultant, Dr. Ben Molino, discussed how to identify the effects of torture and to handle the victims in order to obtain the torture narrative and provide immediate treatment and psychological first aid.

According to Balay, many cases of torture have remained unrecorded because mandated authorities are not keen on detecting possible torture victims and documenting them properly.The participants, many of whom have studied health-related science, before they joined the custodial service are deemed to  play an important role in documenting cases of torture, facilitating the victim’s access to rehabilitation services, and in ensuring the speedy disposition of cases.

BJMP Director Diony Mamaril congratulated the participants and the organizers for their efforts and    led the awarding of certificates to the participants.