PNP denies Commission on Human Rights claims of De Lima’s poor jail condition

February 09, 2019
Leila De Lima

THE Philippine National Police yesterday debunked the Commission on Human Rights’ observation of Senator Leila M. de Lima’s alleged poor condition at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

In a statement, PNP spokesman Senior Superintendent Bernard M. Banac said PNP chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde immediately ordered an investigation into the CHR observation regarding De Lima’s poor jail condition that was made public by CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia.

Banac said  the PNP Human Rights Affairs Office immediately conducted a probe into the CHR claim and found out that on the contrary, PNP jail authorities are consistently observing all police custodial procedures when it comes to the handling of detained high-profile persons and their human rights.    

Last Monday, he said a PNP-HRAO team organized by Chief Supt. Dennis Siervo sent an inspection team at the PNP Custodial Center to validate De Guia’s claim.

Siervo revealed the findings of the HRAO Inspecting Team specifically on the custodial facility of De Lima,  whom he said  is satisfied “with the present set-up of the custodial facility and treatment of the duty custodial officers.”

“After our thorough inspection on Sen. De Lima’s custodial facility, we can say that Atty. De Guia’s allegation and pronouncements against the PNP is defamatory in nature. It was all false and malicious accusations,” Siervo said.

The PNP-HRAO said that based on their findings, De Lima’s custodial facility has an area of 100 square meters  with 20.9-square meter cell floor area.    

It said it is  obviously larger than the United Nations’ recommended measurement standard which is 4.7 sq.m. to 5.4 sq.m. per person deprived of liberty.

The PNP-HRAO also revealed that Sen. de Lima has a mini-library, a mini-garden area and enough space for physical exercises.

She also has a personal staff who is tasked to cater to her personal necessities inside the facility.

The opposition senator has been in detention at the PNP Custodial Center since 2016 on drug charges.