On July 24, 2008, between 12:30 am to 1:30 am, I had one of the worst moments of my life. I became a subject of what I thought was a movie or tv show ala Imbestigador or I-Witness.I thought it couldn't be real, and it couldn't be happening to me.But it did.And by writing this I hope I can warn your readers.
On the same date, past 12 midnight, I was on my way home when I met a group of men near Q.C. Triangle. There were three of them. One of them smiled. And thus began the story of my harrowing experience when I made a mistake of smiling back at him. He made a short talk. We agreed to go in one of the nearby small, speedy place which is always open 24 hours a day.
We entered that place which name I can't remember. He seemed to know the women who manage the place. "He's a regular here," I thought. We entered the room and we consummated whatever purpose we had in going that place. Sorry if I don't elaborate on this. What happened after is the crux of my story. We went out. He said that he would join me in my taxi ride home. I said that I would be going in a different route and I couldn' t accommodate him. But he was persistent. He stood by my side as I waited for a taxi.
All of a sudden a PNP mobile car stopped in front of us. A policeman in his late twenties or early thirties came out and angrily shouted at us, telling us to go inside the mobile car. I was at once dazed and confused. "No, this can't be happening to me" I thought. I asked them what's the matter, what's wrong, what have I done that they were arresting me. While I was trying to resist the cop, my companion calmly entered the car. I tried to run but the cop caught me and handcuffed my right wrist. I was telling him that I know what's happening, that i have seen this on tv. I kept on resisting him. I asked him repeatedly what offense had I done, what was the reason why he was arresting me.
He forced me to go inside the car and told me just to go with them to the police station where I should do my explaining. He threatened me that if I don't cooperate, madyadyaryo ako. But I kept on resisting him. I knew what's happening, I knew what would happen if I go with them. Because the said cop couldn't force me to go inside the car, he asked for his companion cop's help. The second cop was older, perhaps in his early fifties. The two of them forcibly tried to put me inside. But I didn't yield. Then, I shouted for help. I shouted at the top of my lungs. Saklolo, tulungan nyo ako. I continued to resist them, I continued to shout.
I was now drawing the attention of the passers-by, the taxi drivers. I would rather be exposed that go with those cops. I kept on shouting. And when the younger cop noticed that the passers-by were now looking at us, he hesistantly set me free. He uncuffed me. And I ran. I kept on running. They did not try to run after me. I stopped a taxi and rode home. My heart was thumping, i was breathing heavily, I was crying.
I couldn't believe that I would be experiencing police brutality, harassment, extortion first-hand. Though I have read similar, sadder stories, that didn't stop me from thinking that it would never happen to me.
Gibbs, I don't know if the story I just told you had already ended. I don't know if i'm now free again. I keep on thinking that they would be looking after me; that they have followed me home; that they have reported their "allegations" to the PNP Station and to the media where they have described, in details, my appearance and the things i have done.
I want to serve as a warning to others. I hope that this will never be experienced by anyone again, the trauma, the fear that go with it. Although I have a name and career to protect, I would rather be exposed in the media rather that be subject of the police extortion. That was clearly a choice I made when I resisted them. However, I also chose not to fight back. I resisted but I didn't employ force to hit them. If I hit them them, I knew I would be giving them a more valid reason to arrest me. I was not even able to take note of their tags nor their car plate. I just wanted to be away from them.
Looking in hindsight, there were hints that what had happened was clearly a police frame-up meant to extort money from me. I don't know if the other two who were with the man I went with were also part of the police extortion scheme.The man I went with was moreno, medium built while the other two were mestizo type. I noticed the tattoos on the body of the man I went with, that kind of tattoos that would be made in prison or by amateur tattoo artist. He also kept on texting before and after, and even made pretenses that he was texting his cousin. Now, I know that he was texting those two policemen about us.
Gibbs, I only heard and read before about the brutality and the extent that cops would do to earn easy money. But little did I know that I would be one of their hapless victims. When I see cops now, my hatred and fury towards them just erupts. I know that not all of them are scheming bastards, but I could never, never trust them again.
Gibbs, if ever there would be others who would be unfortunate to be subject of the same police extortion, I hope they would not be afraid. I hope they could resist the cops the way I did. More importantly, I hope this will never happen again. but if it does, I hope there will be a support group whom the victims could call. I know that the cops would force the victims to call anyone for money, but instead of their family I hope there will be such kind of support group that will help them.
Gibbs, I hope this message and story can be forwarded to as many people as possible. Thanks.
P.S. I've also this to misterhubs, migs and others. I really hope that will be read by as many people as possible.