MANILA - The Philippine National Police said Wednesday it would put up help desks that would focus on crimes allegedly perpetrated by Chinese nationals.
Gambling-related incidents of kidnapping involving Chinese more than doubled to 38 in 2019 from 16 the year before, according to police data. Just this week, 4 Chinese men were arrested after allegedly attempting to abduct a teenage girl in Makati City.
The planned help desks in the police headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City will receive Chinese-linked complaints and investigate these, said PNP Spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac.
Around 16 officers will man the 12-hour help desks in the offices of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Anti-Kidnapping Group, he said.
Personnel assigned to the desk would have to learn Mandarin, he said, adding that the PNP would welcome sponsors for free language courses.
The PNP in 2001 also put up help desks in Manila, Baguio and Cebu that focused on crimes perpetrated by Koreans. These were eventually closed when Korean-linked crimes decreased, noted Banac.
The Philippines has seen a spike in the arrival of Chinese tourists and workers since President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in mid-2016 and immediately set about warming relations with Beijing.
The influx has had a mixed impact in the Philippines, with authorities suspecting many of the arrivals are working illegally in the online gambling industry. -- With reports from Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News; Agence France-Presse