The Philippine government with the support of the national NGOs led by the Balay Rehabilitation Center and the Medical Action Group both involved in the rehabilitation work for victims of human rights violations particularly torture since the 80s will pioneer a rehabilitation program for perpetrators of torture. This program will be implemented simultaneously with the rehabilitation program for victims of torture.
In a forum today in Quezon City, Philippines attended by rehabilitation experts from the Denmark based Center for Rehabilitation of Torture led by Dr. Peter Polatin, representatives of government agencies, non-government organizations and victims of torture, the various modalities of rehabilitation, process of rehabilitation, pitfalls and problems in rehabilitation, and the issue of justice for the victims were discussed.
The experts told the participants that they have searched all over the world if there is any government or NGO involved in rehabilitation of perperators of torture, but they found none. Thus, they said that the eyes of the world will be focused on the planned rehabilitation program of the Philippines for the perpetrators of torture. They shared that based on their meeting with other experts worldwide, the perpetrators are described as: obedient; trained; considers the victims as enemies; they believed that what they are doing is right; they use alcohol or drugs to numb themselves from what they are doing; and they experienced violence either in their training or during their childhood.
One of the victims presented his ordeal, the sequelae of his ordeal and the problems of getting justice in a situation wherein impunity reigns. More than a year after a warrant of arrest was issued, those involved in his case are yet to beapprehended as the Armed Forces of the Philippines continue to deny that they have such a person in their ranks. The military officers promised help in arresting the alleged perpetrators.