Philippines: Update to PHL26092.E of 19 March 1997 on corruption and bribery within the police force; government initiatives to deal with corruption and bribery within the police force; procedure for and state protection available to one who files a complaint against a police officer for criminal activity; frequency of convictions of members of the police force accused of criminal activity (1997-2002)
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||2 April 2002|
|Citation / Document Symbol||PHL38588.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Philippines: Update to PHL26092.E of 19 March 1997 on corruption and bribery within the police force; government initiatives to deal with corruption and bribery within the police force; procedure for and state protection available to one who files a complaint against a police officer for criminal activity; frequency of convictions of members of the police force accused of criminal activity (1997-2002), 2 April 2002, PHL38588.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be9624.html [accessed 19 June 2013]|
Country Reports 2001 states that although complaints against the police decreased significantly compared with 2000, corruption within the police force in the Philippines remains a problem (2002), and that while there is "no known evidence that government agencies facilitate, condone or are otherwise complicit in" the trafficking of persons, local police receive bribes from traffickers (Country Reports 2001 2002, section 6f).
Other media sources have reported on the corruption within the police force (Chicago Sun-Times 6 Feb. 2002; AI 2 Mar. 2001; ibid. 1 Oct. 1997) and the perceived corruption of the Philippine National Police (PNP) (ibid.; Manila Standard 25 Aug. 2001; The Straits Times 9 Dec. 2001). The PNP was described by the Philippine government's Commission on Human Rights as the "worst abuser of human rights" (Country Reports 2001 2002). Panfilo Lacson, former chief of the PNP, has been accused of "involvement in the illegal drugs trade, money laundering and kidnapping for ransom" (Manila Bulletin 19 Aug. 2001).
While head of the PNP, however, Lacson had been "widely applauded" for his work against police corruption, although denounced by human rights activists and the opposition for his "heavy-handed methods" (Asiaweek 21 Jan. 2000). A 21 January 2000 Asiaweek article reported that the PNP had "relieved from duty 42 police officers," and had abolished checkpoints for vans delivering food supplies to Manila, which the police had reportedly used to extort money from the suppliers.
Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has pledged to end the "Philippine culture of corruption" (BBC 21 Jan. 2001). On 16 April 2001 President Arroyo created the three-member Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) to "investigate administrative cases and complaints involving corruption in government," however, the PAGC has no jurisdiction over members of the PNP (Philippine Star 24 Apr. 2001).
No information on the procedure for filing a complaint against a police officer nor the state protection available for those who file a complaint could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. Amnesty International reported that filing a complaint against a police officer "requires courage and usually financial resources beyond the means of most victims" and that some women raped by law enforcement officials were "threatened or pressured by the perpetrator" to withdraw their complaint (2 Mar. 2001). The report also stated that those in power are often "able to escape prosecution by exploiting widespread corruption throughout the police and judiciary" (ibid.).
No information on the frequency of convictions of members of the police force accused of criminal activity was found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Amnesty International (AI). 2 March 2001. (AI Index: ASA 35/001/2001). "Philippines: Fear, Shame and Impunity: Rape and Sexual Abuse of Women in Custody."
_____. 1 October 1997. (AI Index: ASA 35/009/1997). "Philippines: The Death Penalty."
Asiaweek [Hong Kong]. 21 January 2000. Antonio Lopez. "On Duty: 'Dirty Harry'." (NEXIS)
BBC News. 21 January 2001. "Arroyo Moves to Bolster Economy."
Chicago Sun-Times. 6 February 2002. Thomas H. Lipscomb. "U.S. Faces Philippine Quagmire." (NEXIS)
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2001. 4 March 2002. "Philippines."
Manila Bulletin. 19 August. 2001. Mario B. Casayuran. "Senate Wants to Question Reyes; Main News." (NEXIS)
Manila Standard. 25 August 2001. "Three Groups Plan Mass Actions Against Corruption." (NEXIS)
The Philippine Star [Manila]. 24 April 2001. Marichu Villanueva. "Philippine President Creates Anti-Graft Commission." (BBC Worldwide Monitoring/NEXIS)
The Straits Times [Singapore]. 9 December 2001. Luz Baguioro. "Manila Police Accused of Taking Cash to Refer Bodies to Funeral Homes." (NEXIS)
_____. 25 April 2001. "Traders Funding Kidnap Gangs Unknowingly." (NEXIS)
Additional Sources Consulted
Internet sites including:
Centre for Democratic Institutions
Channel News Asia
Commission on Human Rights
Human Rights Watch
Pacific Media Watch
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Third World Studies Center
World Criminal Justice Library Network