Tag Archives: neighborhood watch

Foreigner Trying To Help Lost Child Hassled by Manila’s Barangay Police

Manila Philippines Barangay Police

The video and description included within this post were shared with Nevada Cop Block by “Nasty” Nathanial Thomas, via reader submission. You can (and should) visit Nathanial’s YouTube channel (click here) to see other videos he has posted. In addition you can see other posts involving Nathanial that have previously been published at NVCopBlock.org by clicking here, here, and here.

Note: If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

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

Howdy folks,

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.

Baseco-PicOn 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

Related Content on NVCopBlock.org:

If You Want True Reform, Abolish The Police!

This post was written by and originally published at the Center For a Stateless Society (C4SS) under the title “Ferguson, Accept No Substitutes: Abolish the Police!” Posts and other content can be submitted to the CopBlock Network via the CopBlock.org Submission Page. (Note: some links have been inserted, although no edits to the original text were made.)

Back in August 2014 a man named Michael Brown was shot by a police officer, Darren Wilson. Brown was unarmed and found himself in the hostile climate that exists between people of color and the police. His resulting death was the spark that lit the fire. Protests for #BlackLivesMatter began in earnest, people rallied for justice for Brown (Wilson was eventually acquitted of any wrong-doing) and in general, folks were deeply upset with the city of Ferguson.

Whether Brown’s actions warranted the almost 10 shots he received by officer Wilson, the background context of the event couldn’t be denied. Even the Department of Justice (DoJ) noted, to quote CBS, “a portrait of poor community-police relations, ineffective communication among the more than 50 law enforcement agencies that responded, police orders that infringed on First Amendment rights, and military-style tactics that antagonized demonstrators.”

The DoJ also remarked on a broad pattern of discrimination by the Ferguson police, particularly towards people of color.

What has changed in over a year and a half?

In September, CBS reported that, “Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon recommended the consolidation of police departments and municipal courts in the St. Louis area, and decreasing the use of police force.”

But more recently and perhaps more promisingly to some, there has been a proposed agreement between the DoJ and the City of Ferguson. If approved, this agreement would postpone any sort of federal lawsuit and make changes to local policies concerning the police. CBS reported that the proposal was even brought before the public for “feedback” before its approval.

Policy changes could include mandatory body cameras and microphones for police and their cruisers. In addition, there could be more thorough training of police and possible revisions of municipal codes that allow the City of Ferguson to jail people who can’t afford fines.

All of these things, if actually implemented, might sound like decent reforms.

But as fellow C4SS writer Thomas L. Knapp wrote back in December of 2014, when it comes to body cameras and the like, “Video technology is certainly part of the solution to police violence, but that solution should remain in the hands of regular people, not the state. … Cops need to be on cameras they don’t control.”

Why would we want the police to regulate themselves on how well they’re doing? A recent example of Chicago police officers tampering with their dash cams is just the tip of the iceberg. Somehow police often “mysteriously” can’t find evidence against themselves. It seems unlikely that it’d be any different in Ferguson.

Likewise, though there’d be more thorough training of the police, who would it be by? Other police? That’s likely the end result of this supposed “thorough” training that may teach “tolerance” for the disabled and marginalized. But acceptance is a lot more meaningful than tolerance, and how can we expect either to be taught to the police in any case?

They operate in an institution founded on “I was just taking orders” as a legitimate defense to wrong-doing. They operate in an institution that, if it really only had “a few bad apples”, would’ve done something more drastic than putting murdering cops on paid vacations. They operate in an institution that lacks any sort of communal competition in many areas, giving them de facto monopoly provision of defense. This monopoly leads not only to a lack of accountability but also violence on the part of the police.

Lastly, it seems unlikely that the city would, for some reason, stop imprisoning less fortunate citizens. If they’re able to make money off of these prisoners, why would they stop it? It seems akin to asking cops to stop profiting from traffic stops.

It’s a nice gesture to let the public “look” at the document before it’s actually passed.

But that’s all it is, a gesture.

Real change won’t come from the fox guarding the hen house. Real change will come from communities coming together and modeling their efforts less on busy-body neighborhood watches and more like the Black Panthers.

Further, community involvement shouldn’t aid prisons and punishment but rather should entice restitution and resolve.

To do that, my advice is simple: Abolish the police!