Duty Calls

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Foreigner Serving The Philippine National Police


Married Kano

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Since moving to the Philippines eight years ago, I’ve had the opportunity to experience and learn many different things in my new country.

Perhaps the most interesting and fulfilling experience has been that my wife and I have served the last seven years as officers in our local Barangay Police and also the Philippine National Police Anti-Drug Task Force in our town.

After being involved in a traffic accident six years ago we were both invited by the Philippine National Police to join the police department. We did, and after joining and taking the oath, (and an FBI background check from the States on me), we underwent several months of training in police procedures, Philippine criminal and family law and the “Pinoy” way of doing things under the watchful eye of the Barangay Captain and municipal Mayor.

Police service here is much different than in the States. The laws are less strict and are at times flexible depending on the situation and the case involved.

Also, it is an all volunteer force-no pay.

Although the type of crime here is the same as anywhere; in most cases justice for the offender and victim can be quite different from case to case except where a violent crime is committed or if it is a drug related offence.

The bulk of cases handled are of a family nature. Arguments, disagreements, and

Saturday night fights that are usually alcohol related.

Rather than putting every offender in jail and going to court; most cases are decided and adjudicated in the police station with the assistance of a police investigator such as my wife.

Satisfying justice here most often times involves only mending hurt feelings or the guilty person paying for a band aid for a cut or injury caused during a fight. A delicate situation doing it this way to be sure. But it seems much better to be able to send family members and friends home together, happy with the outcome rather than always filling jail cells and filling the bottomless pockets of lawyers as we would do back in the States. Not to mention, in most cases, being very rewarding to be able to help people this way.

Maybe us “know-it-all” Americans and others could learn a lesson in not only effective law enforcement, but effective human relations from these kind and gentle people.

I truly love living in the Philippines and serving these wonderful people as they teach me a different and perhaps a better way of doing things-- and more patients at the same time. Even if I am a slow learner at times…

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Jake

Posted

Well, it's good to know that foreign nationals are able to serve the Philippine community by being directly involved with local law enforcement. I admire your dedication by learning compassion and improving "human relationships" within you own community. Well done my friend -- Jake

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Dave Hounddriver

Posted

This is good to know. In the west we have police members from almost every race which gives the impression of fair representation. Here it seems only filipinos are members of the PNP which can cause a feeling of no justice for expats, whether true or not.

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I wonder if you can expand on how this might be accomplished by others who might wish to do the same thing? Do they require you to go to a local police academy? Or are past qualifications a factor? Just very curious, and since we only live here part time, I would not be able to do it now anyway, but I would not mind donating my time to help out if they needed or wished to have my help.

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Married Kano

Posted

I wonder if you can expand on how this might be accomplished by others who might wish to do the same thing? Do they require you to go to a local police academy? Or are past qualifications a factor? Just very curious, and since we only live here part time, I would not be able to do it now anyway, but I would not mind donating my time to help out if they needed or wished to have my help.
I honestly don't know if it can be done other places. My understanding is that only a Philippine citizen can belong to or be a member of the Brgy Police. Its also my understanding that a one time provision in that federal law was made for me to join. So far as I know, I'm the only foreigner on a Brgy police dept in the country. Years ago there was one from Australia in Angeles City but I think he is either no longer alive or has left the country.For the service on the PNP drug unit I dont have any information as to if it is allowed or possible in other locations or not. Training was done here by local chief and classes within the DILG and PDEA-drug enforcement agency...
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Married Kano

Posted

This is good to know. In the west we have police members from almost every race which gives the impression of fair representation. Here it seems only filipinos are members of the PNP which can cause a feeling of no justice for expats, whether true or not.I've never asked about other nationalities joining the PNP as a paid profession. What we do is strictly for free and in our spare time. Im Manila they may use paid advisors from other countries but have never heard of it if true...
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Married Kano

Posted

Well, it's good to know that foreign nationals are able to serve the Philippine community by being directly involved with local law enforcement. I admire your dedication by learning compassion and improving "human relationships" within you own community. Well done my friend -- Jake
Thanks Jake, It has been interesting to say the least and has allowed me personally to grow as I learn different ways of doing things. I'm getting to the age now where its probably better for me to sit more on the sidelines when possible. I enjoy the buy bust operations but even that I kind of move over and let my wife do-Gene...
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Steve & Myrlita

Posted

I'm very surprised to hear this. In the 4 years I've been here, my observations have shown me that this is a very nationalistic country and does not allow foreigners to function in any legal capacity which could make him or her an authority figure over a Filipino Citizen. My experience tells me that would be received like a lead balloon. If I remember correctly, showing authority here can get you deported very fast especially if the Filipino(a) has connections. God Bless.....Steve

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Jollygoodfellow

Posted

I'm very surprised to hear this. In the 4 years I've been here, my observations have shown me that this is a very nationalistic country and does not allow foreigners to function in any legal capacity which could make him or her an authority figure over a Filipino Citizen. My experience tells me that would be received like a lead balloon. If I remember correctly, showing authority here can get you deported very fast especially if the Filipino(a) has connections. God Bless.....Steve
There was a member of my old yahoo group who is now deceased,he an American was at one time a fisheries officer with a Philippines government department.I have seen videos of him in a uniform similar to police and with a group of other offices visiting different areas. From memory his role was law enforcement.
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i am bob

Posted

I was wondering... Do you find the locals treat you different than other Americans because of your job or are you just another "gd foreigner" in your off time to the vast majority?

Either way - GREAT JOB!!!

Bob

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