This video and the following post were shared with the CopBlock Network by “Nasty” Nathanial Thomas, via the CopBlock Submissions Page. Previously, Thomas has submitted several posts to the CopBlock Network. They can be found here, here, here, and here.
As he explains below, until recently Nathanial was traveling within the Philippines. This latest post consists of video that was taken in the Philippines and involves a local police department within that country.
It deals with issues foreign travelers within the Philippines may encounter when dealing with the local police and how the governmental structure of the nation often worsens or even creates that situation.
In particular, it shows how members of a semi-official police force, known as “Barangay Police,” prey on and attempt to take advantage of vulnerable individuals, especially foreigners.
Date of Incident: March 27, 2016
Location of Incident: Baseco Compound, Manila, Philippines
“Department” Involved: Metro Manila Barangay Police
How are all my Cop Block friends doing? I just recently returned from another extended stay in the Philippines and I must say that it feels pretty groovey to be back in the good ol’ US of A. Something that I have come to realize about spending time in a foreign country is that as a foreigner you become vulnerable. Especially when you are in a third world country like the Philippines.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the Philippines and I believe that Filipinos are some of the nicest and most hospitable people I’ve ever met. However, there are good and bad people in every culture and there are Filipinos that do try to abuse and take advantage of foreigners. This does not exclude the police.
Before I get into explaining the situation that you see in this video I have submitted, let me first explain what the Barangay Police are. In the Philippines you have what are called “Barangays”. Basically, a Barangay is a neighborhood with a governmental structure. Within’ these Barangays you have elected officials such as a chairperson, a council, and even their own police. It is basically like a little city within’ a city.
Ok now, lets talk about the Barangay Police for a moment. You have the regular city police, such as the Manila Police, who wear uniforms, carry guns, and drive squad cars just like they do here in the United States. Then you’ve got these Barangay Police who are basically wannabe cops. They wear a t-shirt that says “Barangay Police” and carry a handheld radio.
Some of them will carry a baton. But I don’t mean a police issued nightstick. It is more of a wooden stick that they carry around to try and look intimidating. They don’t carry guns thank God. These guys are a joke. They shouldn’t even call them police, because they are not real cops. Instead, they are more like a neighborhood watch than anything else.
On Easter Sunday, my friend and I decided to go to this place called Baseco Beach. It is in a slum area of Manila. However, on Easter Sunday the local residents head down to the beach and kick off a big party Filipino style. That is another thing about Filipinos. They know how to throw a party.
Anyways, my friend and I were walking along the water filming and taking photographs of the celebration when we came across a little girl. She was all alone and crying. We quickly discovered that she had been separated from her parents and is now all alone on the beach. My friend, who volunteers for a non profit organization, actually knew this little girl and her family. Having participated in feedings within her Barangay, he knew exactly where she lives. He decided that he would just take her back to her family’s home. This is where the trouble started.
On our way back to the car, we were stopped by the Barangay Police, who immediately begin to hassle us. My friend calmly explained that the little girl was lost and that he knows where she lives and is going to help her get home. But that was not good enough for these wannabe cops. Their solution to the problem was for us to just leave the girl there. Oh yeah, that’s real good. Leave this girl all alone to fend for herself in the slums. Good police work guys.
Now, I realize that when you are dealing with the police in a third world country you can run into a variety of complications and that things can get pretty frustrating really fast. I am not trying to suggest that police officers in the Philippines are bad, in general. However, these Barangay cops are completely incompetent and totally corrupt.
In the end, these Barangay cops finally allowed the girl to be returned to her family. Of course, they wanted something in return. I mean, I do realize that we are dealing some crooked, incompetent cops, but I just figured, being that there was a child involved, they would exercise a bit more class in a situation like this. I guess that was me being naive, though.
The one cop you see in the video wearing sunglasses and trying to act macho, actually had the nerve to approach my friend later on, asking that he buy him a soda. Shaking my head, Scumbag.
– Nasty Nathanial Thomas