Press Statement
01 September 2023

We condemn the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bongbong Marcos government for their plan to place permanent police attache’s in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Paris, New York, Washington, San Francisco, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, and other countries. 

There is no legitimate reason for the PNP to be abroad and its presence in other countries is a waste of the people’s money. 

It is the duty of the local police forces in the countries mentioned to ensure and maintain peace and order; they don’t need any reinforcement from the PNP. The same is true for the PNP’s excuse for its plan — to gather information about transnational crimes. Any Filipino who knows how efficient and effective police forces in the countries mentioned will find the PNP’s claim of trying helping these police forces laughable.

Most Filipinos are law-abiding migrants in migrant-receiving countries. The PNP is just wasting the people’s money if its idea is to thwart and solve crimes committed by Filipinos abroad. 

“Ang kailangan natin dito is more on touching base with the Filipino community to ease kung ano man ang mga nagiging problema nila roon (What we need here is to touch base with the Filipino community to ease whatever problems they are facing),” said Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr., former head of the PNP. 

If the Philippine government is really serious in helping OFWs and Filipino migrants, it should boost the snail-paced and insufficient services that it provides through Philippine embassies, attaches, and migrant workers offices. It is simply stupid to bring the PNP to countries where Filipinos need emergency rescue, legal assistance, temporary shelter and others. PNP attache’s outside the Philippines should be defunded and the funds should be transferred to services for OFWs and Filipino migrants. 

We cannot help but think that the real purpose of the plan to place PNP attache in various countries is to gather intelligence on and suppress migrant Filipinos’ growing critical thinking and voice about what’s happening in the Philippines. We cannot help but think that this is part of the government’s treatment of dissent and criticism as terrorism. 

Is this plan part of the implementation of the draconian Anti-Terrorism Law of 2021 which grants the Philippine government jurisdiction over supposed terrorist crimes committed by Filipinos abroad? That law, in equating legitimate dissent and even rebellion with terrorism, and for legalizing human rights violations, should be junked, not implemented. 

In recent months, the PNP has been embroiled in various crimes and controversies, from the August 2 police killing of 17-year old Jhemboy Baltazar and the special treatment given to ex-policeman and menace to society Wilfredo “Willy” Gonzales who figured in a road rage incident. 

After years of impunity in committing crimes against ordinary Filipinos, especially the “war on drugs,” the PNP should not be sent abroad. It should be reoriented and retrained. All bad weeds should be removed. Corruption, especially at the top levels, must be stopped and those responsible punished. 

Unlike OFWs and Filipino migrants, the PNP is a source of national shame, not of national pride. It should not be exported; it should not even be kept the way it is. There is nothing in the PNP’s record, or in global conditions, that legitimates its plan to set up attache’s in various countries. ###