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 linked to certain families or barkadas (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.