The Philippine National Police (PNP) is planning to create a “Chinese desk” dedicated to crimes involving the ever-increasing number of Chinese tourists and workers in the country.
Newly installed PNP Chief Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa said during a presser yesterday that officers assigned to the new desk will also be studying Mandarin and Chinese culture “so that we can understand why they are doing this, [and] how they are going to do it [the crime].”
Gamboa added that a committee will be created to study the frequency of crimes involving Chinese nationals, as well as the criminal’s possible motives. The creation of a race-specific desk isn’t unique in the country, he said. Indeed, as Chinese tourism has skyrocketed, the Italian city of Venice even went so far as to allow members of the Chinese police force to patrol its streets alongside its own officers.
“It’s happening all over… The government of Japan, the government of Korea has already been doing this since time before. And here, we admit there is a rising threat to that; hence the need to really put up these desks,” GMA News reports.
“As a matter of fact there are a lot of specialized schooling and visits that have been initiated by the Chinese government of sending members of the PNP to China so that we would understand more their culture and how their syndicates do their thing in China,” the PNP chief added, recalling when members of the PNP’s Anti-Kidnapping Group were sent to China to learn Mandarin back in August, an undertaking paid for by the Chinese government.
According to the PNP, at least 56 kidnapping cases involving Chinese nationals occurred in the Philippines between 2017 and 2019.
Kidnapping cases involving Chinese nationals continue to proliferate, including cases of Chinese loan sharks kidnapping their countrymen over unpaid gambling debts. Several prostitution dens have also sprouted up in the country servicing the largely Chinese workforce of the numerous Philippine offshore gaming companies (POGOs).
Early in December, Makati Mayor Abby Binay pumped the brakes on POGOs, saying that she was temporarily putting a stop to the issuance of licenses and permits to offshore gaming companies in her city, citing a recent spike in crimes involving Chinese nationals.