Jerryme Corre’s story is another example of how police in the Philippines torture people without ever being held responsible. By putting them in the spotlight, we can help stop this.
“They came on motorcycles. They started running towards me and forced me to lie face down,” says Jerryme. “Then they kicked and punched me. I asked them, “Who are you? Are you the police? If you are, tell me what my crime is. Do you have a warrant?‟ But they only said I did not have the right to ask questions.”
Those terrifying moments replay in Jerryme Corre‟s mind, three years on, as he languishes in a humid prison cell, sentenced for drug possession– a charge he denies. They were the 34-year-old driver‟s last minutes of freedom. What happened to Jerryme next, as the officers tried to force a confession, is common in a country where police use torture on a massive scale and go unpunished.
“They put cloth over my mouth and poured water down it. I felt like I was drowning – I could no longer breathe. Then they drenched my body with water and gave me electric shocks, over and over.”
No officer has ever been held accountable for torture in the Philippines. But there is hope for change, as thousands of you raise your voices. Only in June this year, after receiving letters from Amnesty members, the authorities opened an investigation into the torture of Alfreda Disbarro, a 32-year-old single mother.
“I will never forget their voices,” admits Jerryme. The memories will be slow to fade. But with justice comes healing, and the possibility that police finally face the law for their actions. As Jerryme said to the officer who beat him: “You were sworn to protect the people, people like me.‟”