Whenever a foreigner is murdered in the Philippines, it sends shock waves out among the expat community! It does not happen that often but it happens. There are statistics available online concerning the number of foreigners murdered in the Philippines since the 1980's and the number is much less than Americans murdered in Chicago during the year 2013! No my friends, it is not open season on foreigners in the Philippines! I have been tracking the cases of murdered foreigners in the Philippines since 1986 and I am familiar with most all the cases due to my diligent research.
Safety and Security issues are always among the most important questions that foreigners ask when considering retiring to the Philippines and it well should be. The Philippines is a much larger country than you may realize and each area is different, even within the same Region or even island of the country. For example, in our barangay south of Bacolod, there have been two murders in the past 25 years and the culprit was the same Filipino! He murdered a guy years ago, was convicted and spent 24 years in prison. When he ended his prison sentence, he returned to the barangay and he murdered the only witness to his crime 25 years ago! Yes, he has since been captured and he is behind bars for life at this very moment! There is not a death sentence in the Philippines.
What The Hell Happened?
It is extremely rare that a foreigner is murdered in the Philippines just because he is a foreigner. In fact, the only case I know about is when a madman killed a foreigner many years ago because he believed all foreigners are devils! Yes, the murderer was mentally deranged!
It was in the news 5 days ago about a UK citizen, only 35 years of age, being gunned down at his diving shop in Cebu by a former security officer who had been fired from the resort for showing up to work two times while intoxicated! The UK citizen had fired the security officer, so he came back for revenge. Would the diving shop owner been gunned down if he had been a Filipino instead of a foreigner? Most likely, the same results! However, the fact he was a foreigner with greater means, I personally think this amplified the incident, of being shot 6 times! There is a saying in many Asian countries, “Do not make a person lose face and never break another person's rice bowl!”
It has only been several months ago since an American beach resort owner was gunned down in his beach resort restaurant! The murderer was also a disgruntled employee who had been fired from his job at the resort. If you hire employees in the Philippines, leave your Western logic behind and counsel your employees with patience. No need to be trigger happy in firing! Unless it is really something so flagrant.
To Know Is To Be Known!
Almost without exception, the foreigners murdered in the Philippines since the 1980's were victims of someone they personally knew, either directly or indirectly. Who would do such a dirty deed? Wives, girlfriends, fiances, house helpers, other domestic staff and business partners or competitors ! If not murdered by them, they were murdered by hit men, hired by the people they knew to do the dirty deed, done dirt cheap! At least compared to Western hit men's price tags!!
You must be very careful when hiring house helpers, drivers, landscapers, caregivers, and any employees in businesses, which you are engaged in the Philippines. Before hiring anyone to work for you, it is best to do a thorough background check to learn all you can about them!
My wife and I are involved in a number of businesses in the Bacolod Area, however, as a foreigner, I keep a low profile. Very few people know that an American is involved in the businesses, at least in the city. Of course, everyone in our small barangay knows about our farm and agribusiness, however, this business is not hurting anyone! It is not breaking anyone's rice bowl. There is not enough rice grown in the Philippines, there is never too much pork, chicken, beef or vegetables! No competition! We are actually putting food on tables at affordable prices.
I cannot buy, own or have a firearm in my possession in the Philippines, yet by law I can use one of my wife's licensed firearms to prevent loss of life or serious injury. I do not intend being involved in a shootout at the Kano Corral! Nevertheless, I would to protect my life and the life of my family in the Philippines! In our area of the Philippines, Kano is a reference used by locals when referring to all Western foreigners. I will add that all the foreigners on the list of foreigners murdered since the 1980's are not all from Western countries. Not by any means! A number are Indians, Chinese, Japanese and others are from other Asian, Latin American and even African countries.
While the odds of being a victim of a violent crime are greater in some areas of the Philippines than in others, the country is overall safe, so come on down! Over the past 28 years, I have never met one expat who has been a victim of violent crime! Well, other than a couple of knuckleheads who needed an old fashion ass whupping by their wife and her brothers for cheating on her! Yes, they saw the light, heard the word and they are 100% faithful to their loving and charming wife! They lived to see another day but my advice is, don't chance it because some expats were not so lucky! Love your Filipina wife and be faithful!