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Police officers suspended amid beating probe in Philippines

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Philippines brutality investigation
  • NEW: The national police director calls the incident "disgusting"
  • A TV station airs the beating footage
  • Officials are investigating the incident
  • People watch as a man beats a detainee

(CNN) -- Eleven police officers in a Manila police precinct have been suspended after footage emerged of a detainee being beaten, officials said.

Metropolitan Manila Police Chief Leocadio Santiago told CNN that officials relieved the 11-member police station Wednesday and ordered its commander, Senior Inspector Joselito Binayug, investigated for criminal acts.

"We will try to finish this as soon as we can. It will not last more than a month, hopefully all of the administrative charges will be filed within 15 days," said Santiago, adding that such behavior would lead to dismissal and legal action.

All of the personnel in the precinct have been replaced, police official Rodolfo Magtibay said.

Video: Alleged police torture recorded

ABS-CBN TV aired footage Tuesday of a man administering a beating while others watched.

The government's Commission on Human Rights and other agencies are investigating.

Cecilia R.V. Quisumbing, one of the human rights commissioners, said a "few families have already contacted" the group "to claim that they are related to the unidentified torture victim.

"But even without his identity, we can identify people in law enforcement who will be subjects of investigation."

The commission said the footage shows "a naked man lying on a floor, being whipped, cursed and whose genitals appear to be tied to a rope while a man in a white shirt hit his face and arms.

"The man in the white shirt likewise inflicted harm on his genitals whenever the victim tried to hide them. His cries of pain and the curses on him are clearly heard while men in what look like police uniforms look on."

Philippines National Police Chief Director General Jesus A. Verzosa said a police task force will probe what he called a "disgusting" incident involving "totally unwarranted" actions.

"Such actions do not have any place in an organization that espouses respect for human rights," Verzosa said. "Any form of brutality and abuse of authority by PNP personnel will not be tolerated and will be dealt with swiftly and decisively according to our own disciplinary rules and internal policy."

Santiago said investigators are trying to confirm information about the beating victim's current whereabouts and his condition.

Journalist Arlene Espiritu contributed to this report