Pirates, Revolutionaries, and Opportunistic, Oh My

The last thing the Philippines needs is to see growth in piracy in or near its Waters but according to Reuters that’s exactly what happened.pirate

A container ship rescued at least 10 crew members from a Singapore-registered tugboat taken over by machete-wielding pirates near Philippine territorial waters, coast guard officials said Thursday.

As best as I can tell, this happened in the northern area of the Philippines, just off the cost of Luzon often called the Main Island which I don’t agree with.  The main island is Cebu. LOL  Just kidding.

It appears the men were held captive for a time and then were set adrift in a lifeboat without water and food. They are lucky to be alive!

A large barge, that is a bit scary.  Being an American, I guess my first thought is toward Al-qaeda for every bad thing that happens and they probably like it that way.  It is alarming though what that barge could be loaded with.  Last year, a large plane, 737 or 747 I think it was disappeared.  As far as I know, it still hasn’t been found!

One could probably do some really nasty things with a barge.  I’m unsure how hard it is to mask the identity of such a ship though.  Seems like it would be hard if checks are done on ships that enter through major ports.  I don’t have any experience with that.

Seems like someone could put one huge dirty bomb on something like that and part it in international waters just off the coast of Miami and do a lot of damage with the correct wind conditions!

Piracy in The Philippines

I learned that piracy in the Philippines was a much bigger problem in the past.  Increase patrols by the Coast Guard helped bring an end to these kinds of theft.

So much of the Philippine economy depends on shipping that large scale piracy would be a disaster for the country.  It would also put expats that use ships to travel to other countries for required tourist visa departures at additional risk.  Some expats use ships to travel to Malaysia or Indonesia for their required exit from the country every 16 months.

The Philippines is far safer place than Memphis, Tn. which is where I came from.  Memphis has become a scary place to live.  Several times I felt very threatened in Memphis.  Gangs are a huge problem there. Memphis has many great things going for it, but its crime rate is not one of them.

So, with all the problems that the Philippines has in the violence department, it is still much less of a problem than just about any place in the USA.  There are different kinds of issues, kidnapping in Sulu.  Bombs in Western Mindanao, pick pockets in Manila and Cebu City are all too frequent.

Expats though may be more at risk because we stand out and there is the perception  that we are all rich.  That is something I wish for but most of us are rich when compared to most Filipino.  Why kidnap someone with no money?  This makes things more dangerous in the Philippines for Westerners.

I would like to know what the per capita crime rate is for the kano (white people) which would be a far more accurate way to assess the situation.  I know of a lot of Filipino victims though, especially when it comes to stolen cell phones.  Armed robberies to take a person’s cell phone, often a young Filipina, are far too common.

So, while there is too much crime you are more likely to become a victim in the USA than in the Philippines so come and enjoy this wonderful place.  Just keep your guard up and be smart!

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Filed under: Living In The Philippines

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