CHR Probes Alleged Abuses During Strip Searches at New Bilibid Prison

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has launched an investigation into alleged human rights violations during strip searches of female visitors at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City, Philippines, following complaints of humiliating and traumatic searches, with seven corrections officers relieved of their duties pending the probe's outcome." This description focuses on the primary topic of the investigation into human rights violations, the main entities involved (CHR, NBP, and corrections officers), the context of the prison setting, and the significant actions and consequences of the investigation. The description provides objective and relevant details that will guide the AI in creating an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as the setting of a prison, the presence of corrections officers, and the emotional tone of the complaints.

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CHR Probes Alleged Abuses During Strip Searches at New Bilibid Prison

CHR Probes Alleged Abuses During Strip Searches at New Bilibid Prison

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has launched an investigation into alleged human rights violations during strip searches of visiting relatives of prisoners at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City. The probe was initiated in response to complaints filed by wives of prisoners who claimed they were subjected to "humiliating, degrading, and traumatic" strip searches on April 21.

Why this matters: This investigation highlights the importance of upholding human rights in correctional facilities, ensuring that visitors and prisoners are treated with dignity and respect. The outcome of this probe may set a precedent for improving prison protocols and preventing similar abuses in the future.

On May 13, a CHR investigation team consisting of four special investigators arrived at the NBP with a mission order signed by Human Rights Protection Cluster Director IV Jasmin Navarro Regino. The team will investigate the complaints of the wives, who alleged that they were subjected to strip searches by female personnel of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

BuCor Director General Gregorio Pio P. Catapang Jr. expressed surprise that the wives only filed their complaints now, considering they had undergone the same procedures since their husbands were incarcerated. "Bakit sa dinami dami ng pagbisita nila sa asawa nila mula pa sa Bureau of Jail and Management and Penology hanggang sa nailipat dito sa Bucor, the same protocol ng inspeksyon ang dinadaanan nila, kaya ako nagtataka bakit itong dalawang complainant ngayon lang sila nagreklamo?" Catapang said.

Seven female corrections officers involved in the incident have been relieved of their posts. The CHR investigators issued subpoenas to the personnel to submit their sworn statements. BuCor provided the investigators with a briefing and simulation of the strip cavity search, as well as a tour of the NBP's Maximum Camp, including the conjugal facilities and the park for PDL visitors and their children.

Catapang assured that the BuCor is committed to upholding human rights and wants to "ferret out the truth" in the investigation. He stated that the strip search is being implemented on all visitors, "without exception," as a measure against the proliferation and entry of contraband into the general inmate population.

The New Bilibid Prison, located in Muntinlupa City, is the main insular penitentiary designed to house the prison population of the Philippines. It is currently administered by the BuCor under the Department of Justice. The prison has faced issues of overcrowding, gang violence, and drug trafficking in the past.

As the CHR investigation into the alleged abuses during strip searches at the NBP continues, BuCor Director General Catapang has expressed the bureau's full cooperation. The seven female corrections officers involved have been relieved of their duties pending the results of the probe. The CHR aims to determine if any human rights violations occurred and exact accountability if warranted.

Key Takeaways

  • CHR launches probe into alleged human rights violations during strip searches of female visitors at New Bilibid Prison.
  • 7 female corrections officers involved in the incident have been relieved of their posts.
  • CHR investigation aims to determine if human rights violations occurred and exact accountability if warranted.
  • BuCor claims strip searches are necessary to prevent contraband entry, but wives of prisoners call them "humiliating" and "traumatic".
  • Probe's outcome may set a precedent for improving prison protocols and preventing similar abuses in the future.