Crime in the Philippines

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A boat belonging to the Philippine National Police at the Iloilo River in Iloilo City

Crime is present in various forms in the Philippines.

Crime by type[edit]

Organized crime[edit]

Organized crime in the Philippines can be linked to certain so called Sindikato families or gangs (groups) who perpetrate crimes ranging from extortion, sale of illegal narcotics and loan-sharking to robbery, kidnapping, and murder-for-hire.[1]

Petty crime[edit]

Petty crime, which includes pick-pocketing, is a problem in the Philippines. It takes place usually in locations with many people, ranging from shopping hubs to churches. Traveling alone to withdraw cash after dark is a risk, especially for foreigners.[2]

Violent crime[edit]

Violent crime is high in the country; foreigners are usually the victims. As many Filipinos are stricken with poverty, one alternative they take is to kidnap others for money.[3]


Prostitution in the Philippines is illegal. It is a serious crime with penalties ranging up to life imprisonment for those involved in trafficking. It is covered by the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.[4] prostitution is still sometimes illegally available through brothels (also known as casa), bars, karaoke bars, massage parlors, street walkers and escort services.[5] As of 2009, one source estimates that there are 800,000 women working as prostitutes in the Philippines, with some of them believed to be underage.[5] While victims are largely female, and according to the current Revised Penal Code, there are in fact a small minority of them who are male.[6]

Human trafficking[edit]

Human trafficking and the prostitution of children is a significant issue in the Philippines, often controlled by organized crime syndicates.[7] Human trafficking in the country is a crime against humanity.[8][9][10][11][12]

In an effort to deal with the problem, the Philippines passed Republic Act (R.A.) 9208, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, a penal law against human trafficking, sex tourism, sex slavery and child prostitution.[13] Nevertheless, enforcement is reported to be inconsistent.[14]

Corruption and police misconduct[edit]

Corruption is a great problem in the Philippines. In May 2013, during the country's elections, some 504 political candidates were accused mostly of corruption and some of violent crimes.[15] Police misconduct is a known issue in the country; in April 2013, a short video, titled Like a BOSS, showcasing the assault on an unarmed individual by three police officers went viral online, prompting the Philippine National Police to investigate the matter.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kowalzki, Eugene (12 July 2010). "Filipino Gangs in the Philippines". Zimbio. Archived from the original on 14 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "Crime in the Philippines". World Nomads. June 9, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Crime in the Philippines". World Nomads. June 9, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  4. ^ Philippine Laws, Statutes And Codes - Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
  5. ^ a b "Number of prostitutes in the Philippines". Havoscope. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Anti-Prostitution Bill". Philippine Commission on Women. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  7. ^ 'Chairman' reveals seedy world of trafficking. BBC News. 1 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  8. ^ what-is-human-trafficking
  9. ^ Child Trafficking
  10. ^ Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Articles 1 to 33)- Prevent Genocide International
  11. ^ Hansen, Scott. "Japan's Fight against Modern-Day Slavery (Part I)". Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  12. ^ Cebu a transit point for child trafficking -, Philippine News for Filipinos
  13. ^ Republic Act number 9208
  14. ^ "Revealed: In Cities and Towns All Over the Philippines, Irishmen Pay to Have Sex with Children". The Sunday Tribune. Tribune Newspapers PLC. 2006-09-24. Archived from the original on 2007-05-21. 
  15. ^ "Sandiganbayan files: 256 poll winners have graft, crime cases; 17 convicted". The Philippines Centre of Investigative Journalism. June 10, 2013. 
  16. ^ Diola, Camille (April 8, 2013). "PNP probes 'brutality' in viral video". The Philippine Star.