Monday, January 13, 2014

Philippines: Some Cops in Manila, Makati Extorting Foreigners, Government Cracks Down

According to The Global NationImmigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison expressed alarm on Monday (January 13) over the complaint from the Saudi Arabian Embassy to Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada regarding alleged extortion activities of policemen from the city as well as in Makati.

The complaint was conveyed by Saudi Arabian Ambassador Abdullah al-Hassan during a recent courtesy call on Mayor Estrada.

“To be respected in other countries, Filipinos must [set an] example by [showing] respect and care for foreigners who visit our tourist areas and at the time contribute revenues to the national coffer,” Mison said in a statement.

One complaint alleged that police officers in Malate, Manila, arrested Saudi nationals Mustafa Abdullah Al-Shanquity and Fuad Abdullah Almohsin over “spurious criminal accusations.” The officers then demanded money from the foreigners in exchange for their release.

Mison also expressed dismay over reports received by his office that at least one tourist has been robbed in Ermita, Manila, every day over the past months despite the presence of tourism police in the area.

COMMENT: The Immigration Commissioner advised officials of the Manila Police District to order officers assigned in Ermita to conduct regular patrols, especially at night, to ensure the safety of both tourists and residents within their area of jurisdiction.

At the same time, he reminded foreigners who were victimized by "bad cops" to file a formal complaint with the Bureau of Immigration’s satellite offices.

Although the Immigration Commissioner's is no doubt well-intentioned, there has been no response from the Manila Police District as to whether "bad cops" have been fired from the Philippine National Police (PNP) for extorting foreigners and degrading all those wear a police uniform.