MANILA - The Chinese government is set to sponsor the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group's (PNP-AKG) month-long trip to China to learn Mandarin, part of efforts to help police address rising cases of abductions involving Chinese nationals here.
China will shoulder the all-expense paid trip as officials figured that kidnapping cases could be solved faster if operatives understood the native language of Chinese victims, said Police Lt. Col. Elmer Cereno, spokesperson of the PNP-AKG.
If an investigator can communicate with the rescued victim, authorities can immediately establish how the kidnapping took place, Cereno said.
"Nakapalaking [tulong] nito lalo pag na-rescue natin 'yung victim ay nagkakaroon tayo agad ng hot pursuit operations doon sa mga natitira nating suspects," he said.
(This is big help especially if the rescued victim can provide information that will lead to hot pursuit operations against suspects.)
The PNP can also save funds because translators will no longer be needed, he said.
Some 20 PNP-AKG members will receive the month-long language training in China, with at least 2 officials starting their lessons this month, Cereno said.
Some 56 kidnapping cases involving Chinese nationals were recorded in the Philippines between 2017 and 2019, according to data from the PNP-AKG.
These include cases of Chinese nationals kidnapped by Chinese loan shark gangs who entice them to visit the Philippines to gamble in casinos through junkets, offering free board, lodging and even gambling capital.
- with a report from Zhander Cayabyab, ABS-CBN News