Officials from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), a human rights group, have come across at least 11 prisoners captivated in a small room behind a bookcase in a Philippines police station.
The group received a tip about the secret jail, where upon arrival they found inmates locked up in a dark room. Officers claim that these men were arrested during President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, but many of the imprisoned have said they are innocent and have been captured with the sole purpose of extorting money.
According to Superintendent Robert Domingo, the captives were discovered during a "one-time, big-time" raid, and had no documents because they were still being processed. However, news sources have reported that the prisoners are being asked for ($800-$3,990/£609-£3,095) for their release.
The prisoners have further claimed the room has no electricity and along with other forms of torture, they are not given access to a toilet and are being forced to use plastic bags instead.
The superintendent however has claimed that the room is “such a waste of space”, so he thought “Why not put it to use.”
A CHR spokesperson Jackie De Guia said the group is going to carry out an investigation into the police station as "no normal detention facility is kept behind equipment such as bookshelves."
What is even worse is Duterte’s recent speech where he expressed his rage over terrorists and criminals.
“If you want me to be an animal, I'm also used to that. We're just the same. I can dish out, go down what you can 50 times over,” he said.
“Give me salt and vinegar and I'll eat his liver,” he added, when commenting about what he would do if presented with a terrorist while he was in a foul mood.
Since Duterte’s presidency, thousands of people have been killed in the sweeping anti-drug crackdown. He even warned the Philippines of possible martial law if he can’t control the terrorism.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters