Amnesty Philippines spearheaded the first nationwide campaign against torture in the Philippines in 2002. The campaign’s launch also ushered the formation of the United Against Torture Coalition (UATC). The campaign against torture has come a long way since then.Innovative actions and mobilizations that included the ‘Basta! Run Against Torture (once fully supported by the country’s security forces)’; a number of Bike for Rights activities; protest in different cities and municipalities; press conferences and media actions; nationwide educational activities, forums and conferences; and, community to national level lobbying led to the adoption of RA 9745 or the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 and the Philippine Ratification the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture.
The campaign has also led to the first convictions under the Anti- Torture Act and the subsequent release of torture victims’ Jerryme Corre and Alfreda Disbarro, both of whom were featured Amnesty International’s Global Campaign to Stop Torture in 2014.
The section is now campaigning for the adoption of a law that will establish a National Preventive Mechanism Against Torture. It is also closely monitoring acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment during the implementation of the lockdown brought about by COVID in the country.