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Kidnapping of foreigners for ransom in the Philippines is quite disturbing

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#1 cobie

Posted 13 September 2010 - 10:29 AM

;) If you are a foreigner in the Philippines, then this topic must be of interest to you.  As you may be well-advised, it is darn right risky to go to the beach in some localities on the Philippines; it is too risky to go for a stroll in some areas of the city unless you have an armed body-guard (but even with that, do not count on it!)  So, for foreigners, what has happened to 'freedom and the pursuit of happiness' in the Philippines?

Kidnapping of foreigners for ransom in the Philippines is quite disturbing.  It is well known that the well-to-do Chinese, the Korean businessmen, the Americans are the prime targets for the dirty and skunky local kidnappers. I found it totally nerve-racking to know that those locals who  engage in that filthy and criminal behavior do it for a few reasons: 1) out of poverty, 2) they watch on TV what other Filipinos with their American families have in terms of material possessions, and they want the same for themselves, 3) out of mere jealousy, 4) it is their belief-system that no foreigners have a right to enjoy life to the fullest in "their country", 5) they succeed in their kidnapping for ransom because they are in a large extent protected by the local authorities through bribes and the like. Obviously, I may ommit some other reasons why the vicious locals engage in such acts of depravity to satisfy their lust and love of money.

I wonder why the national local governments have miserably failed to address this burning issue. All I have heard them talk about is tourism and how to increase their tourism revenue by providing some safety to the tourists. Well, as far as I am concerned, I am a retiree and not a tourist in the Philippines. I think that the retirees in the Philippines are as important as the tourists. I do believe that the retirees spend their hard-earned money here and consequently they help grow the Philippines economy.  I further wonder why the Tourism Department or The Foreigh Affairs Department or the national and local authorities have not proposed some viable solutions to solve the blatant kidnapping for ransom  of foreigners in the Philippines. Does it matter to them at all? Or, is it because the revenue they get from the retirees is just "peanuts", or is it because the retirees simply do not count?

What do you think about it all?  :rolleyes:

Edited by cobie, 13 September 2010 - 10:34 AM.

#2 kamikaze

Posted 13 September 2010 - 11:33 AM

View Postcobie, on 13 September 2010 - 10:29 AM, said:

locals who  engage in that filthy and criminal behavior do it for a few reasons: 1) out of poverty, 2) they watch on TV what other Filipinos with their American families have in terms of material possessions, and they want the same for themselves, 3) out of mere jealousy, 4) it is their belief-system that no foreigners have a right to enjoy life to the fullest in "their country",
What's your reference for this information? Can you give us a URL? Point 4 sounds like the paranoid drivel you read on bad expat web sites.

#3 cobie

Posted 14 September 2010 - 12:31 PM


Hi Camerata,

I am afraid the information respective to Kidnapping For Ransom (of foreigners) in The Philippines came from a credible source, and this is no joke.  Therefore, I must kindly disagree with you that it did not come from the "paranoid drivel you read on bad expat web sites."

Here is the link to the website providing the source of the story:


Your comments are welcome!   ;)

#4 Stocky

Posted 14 September 2010 - 12:38 PM

Cam wasn't suggesting the reality was paranoid drivel, merely your commentary.

#5 kamikaze

Posted 14 September 2010 - 12:59 PM

So where did Point 4 come from? Did you make it up yourself?

#6 john

Posted 14 September 2010 - 01:02 PM

It really would be disturbing to get kidnapped and held for ransom.

#7 cobie

Posted 15 September 2010 - 05:55 AM


If you were a foreigner, perhaps you are, then the hope is that you will be always in secure and safe places where kidnapping for ransom will never takes place, as it seems to me that you think it might be simply a joke. Obviously, I respect everyone's opinion and I expect the same from everyone else. Yes, I do think that if we as foreigners are subjected to abduction at any time, then I do not see how we can enjoy life to the max unless proper and viable solutions are in place, and this is the essence of point 4, which therefore is my humble opinion.
By the way, do you live in The Philippines, and if so, how safe do you feel visiting Mindanao area for instance, if I may ask?


There are individuals who perhaps enjoy living a life of denials by pretending that the realtiy is other than what it is, and this _ for whatever reasons. The truth of the matter is even if those individuals are aware of the kidnapping of "Pete, the foreigner", they never believe that it could happen to them. As a result, they would go the extra mile to deny reality. What a shame!

Needless to say that I agree with you that it really would be disturbing to get kidnapped and held for ransom.  :P



I wonder whether Cam or you have visited Mindanao or Zamboanga Del Norte, Philippines?  Or, better yet, do you presently live in The Philippines?  I bet if you do, you would not play down my comments as being paranoid drivel when it comes to abduction of foreigners as reality in The Philippines.  At any rate, I welcome your reply to my questions herein.

#8 kamikaze

Posted 15 September 2010 - 06:44 AM

Cobie, I have not said or implied that kidnapping is a joke. What I said was that your statement that "it is their belief-system that no foreigners have a right to enjoy life to the fullest in "their country"" doesn't sound like it has a reliable source. So it's no surprise that you now say it's just your opinion. Where is your evidence that people in the Philippines have such a xenophobic belief system?

Look under my avatar. I live in Thailand. The last time I went to the Philippines was in the Marcos era and I didn't feel in any danger then.

If the Philippines is so dangerous, why did you move there? Are you calling the shots or your wife? For sure, kidnapping is not a problem in Japan or Thailand but would you both be happy there as opposed to living in the West? What is it you both want out of life?

#9 cobie

Posted 15 September 2010 - 09:18 AM

It appears that you understand that Item #4 was indeed my opinion as I forgot to mention in my earlier statement. Yes, there are ample evidence that criminality is a fact in the Philippines. Just read some threads in The Philippines Forum.

For your info. as a retiree I call the shots.  What one wants in life is not what usually what one gets ,even if one were a prince or princess. I think that wants and desires do not translate in reality most of the time. Am I wrong here? There are things, as you well know, that are out of one's sphere of influence. Therefore, one can hope  for the best.  That does not mean one does not have a right in a democratic system to raise some issues when and if necessary wherever one lives. :wub:

#10 kamikaze

Posted 15 September 2010 - 10:10 AM

Well, it appears that you are not happy in the Philippines and have the means to move elsewhere so, again, what is it that you both want out of life? You can't choose a place to retire on security alone. You have to look at whether you and your wife would both find it interesting and whether it would be a suitable place for any kids you may have.

#11 cobie

Posted 15 September 2010 - 10:33 AM

I do thank you for your advice and reasoning.
Happiness/unhappiness for us in The Philippines is about 75%-25%. Shouldn't it be for instances of criminality, we would be 99% happy. I, as a foreigner,  do however like The Philippines because the countryside is charming and beautiful, and people that I met, mostly from my wife's family, are gentle and respectful as I show respect as well to all of them. We celebrate fiestas, Christmas, birthday parties together...all the time.

Obviously, should we discover another country where murder and kidnapping of foreigners are under control, we might consider retire there. We started traveling throughout Asia since three months ago to have a first hand experience of what some Asian countries look like in terms of culture, safety and security, real estate/lodging, climate, and the like...

#12 abrahamvllera

Posted 17 September 2010 - 07:47 AM

A couple of things:

First, Filipinos, by nature, warm up easily to foreigners. One doesn't even have to a Caucasian-- colored foreigners are welcome too.  It simply is not true that Filipinos dislike foreigners.  I know.  I'm Filipino.

Second, kignapping is done by cuthroats who, hundreds of years ago, would be pirates and assorted marauders. Cuthroats, however, find it more difficult to operate in urban centers where the presence of police (sometimes they're the kidnapers) and private security is that more pronounced.  Meaning, that so long as one stays in urban centers, the possibility of a kidnapping should be less than being run over by a speeding vehicle.

I'm in Cagayan de Oro City, in Mindanao, but we haven't had a foreigner kidnapped here as far as I could remember, and I've been here since 1997.

Edited by abrahamvllera, 17 September 2010 - 07:49 AM.

#13 cobie

Posted 18 September 2010 - 07:24 AM

No, not at all, I never said that Filipinos in general dislike foreigners. Matter of fact, I am a foreigner, and happily married to a nice Filipina. I am glad to have met my wife's family members - most of them reside in a province. I like the Filipino culture. My wife & I have visited many places around the Philippines Islands and enjoyed every minute.

The bad locals cannot be compared with the good Filipino Citizens. Surely, there are bad locals everywhere around the globe. Philippines is a gorgeous country and I hope the very best for this place. My wish is that there is some peace and less criminality for foreigners. This is  something reachable and doable if the authorities come up with the right plans.

You are right, there are less kidnapping activity in urban centers with the police or security guards' presence. But, believe it or not, unfortunately some kidnappings are still taken place. I'd like to share with you an indepth article written by By Joel D Adriano, titled: "Foreigners beware in the Philippines."

Here is a link: http://www.atimes.co...a/LH17Ae01.html

Edited by cobie, 18 September 2010 - 07:26 AM.

#14 TizMe

Posted 18 September 2010 - 12:20 PM


Surely, there are bad locals everywhere around the globe.
But the bad locals in Philipines will kidnap and/or murder you.
The bad locals here in Singapore smuggle cigarettes or chewing gum.

#15 cobie

Posted 19 September 2010 - 04:53 AM

Bad is bad, but there is bad to the extreme.  :wub:

As you pointed out,"The bad locals here in Singapore smuggle cigarettes or chewing gum."
The choice here is clear, although, as far as I can tell, no level of "bad" should be desirable.


I noted that your location is Singapore.

I would like to have your honest input on this question: To your knowledge, has there ever been even an instance of 'kidnapping-for-ransom' of foreigners (Brit., Americans, or Australians) in Singapore?

Your input is much appreciated.

#16 TizMe

Posted 19 September 2010 - 07:01 AM

Well I'm no expert on the matter, but I've never heard of any kidnapping of foreigners for ransom in Singapore.

There were some rumours going around earlier this year of the attempted abduction of children, but as far as I know none of the rumours was ever substanciated. expatinfodesk.com

Searching the net for statistics doesn't find any recent statistics, but I found this at castlerockinternational.com

Posted Image

It seems that the Philippines is the only Asian country that ranks in the top 10.

#17 cobie

Posted 19 September 2010 - 09:07 AM

Thanks for sharing that piece of invaluable info. It appears that Singapore's authorities have done a great job by keeping the country safe for all. I think that the alleged kidnapping of children might have been rumors. It is quite pleasurable to live in a country wherein safety is not lacking.

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