PH cops to be sent to China to study Mandarin
MANILA, Philippines — Amid the reported surge in abduction cases involving Chinese nationals, the Philippine National Police will send members of its Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) to China next month to study Mandarin in order to facilitate police operations.
“This was an agreement with the Chinese consul and the police attaché when they met with the PNP-AKG director, Col. Jonnel Estomo, early this month,” Police Lt. Col. Elmer Cereno, PNP-AKG spokesperson, said in a phone interview on Monday.
According to Cereno, an initial batch of three policemen will travel to China in September to learn Mandarin and will stay there for a month.
The PNP-AKG may send up to 20 officers to China from its headquarters in Luzon, as well as from field units in the Visayas and Mindanao, he said.
Their studies will be funded by the Chinese government, he said.
Explaining the need to learn the Chinese language, Cereno cited instances when Chinese kidnap victims were rescued and their kidnappers arrested.
“Follow-up operations against the accomplices [are] delayed since we have to request for or hire interpreters to be able to track down the rest of the gang,” he said.
He said the PNP-AKG, in seeking the assistance of interpreters, usually needed to coordinate with the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order (MRPO) or the Chinese Embassy.
It could take hours to find an interpreter, he added.
Hot pursuit work
“Ideally, while victims or suspects are in transit after the rescue operations, our PNP-AKG need to be able to immediately get information for the hot pursuit operations (on kidnapping suspects),” Cereno said.
Estomo cited the language barrier as reason for delayed police operations during his meeting with Chinese officials.
Sending them to China, Cereno said, was “the best way for our investigators and hostage negotiators to effectively learn Mandarin.
The PNP-AKG personnel, in turn, teach Mandarin in their units, he added.
The official said the Chinese consul was also open to the idea of assigning Chinese policemen to complaints desks that the PNP-AKG would set up in casinos.
He also mentioned plans to coordinate with the South Korean Embassy in Manila for a similar language learning program, this time on Korean.
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