Organized crime in the Philippines can be linked tocertain families or barkadas (groups) who perpetratecrimes ranging from extortion, sale of illegal narcoticsand loan sharking to robbery, kidnapping, and murder-for-hire.Illegal drug tradeIllegal drug trade is common all around the Philippines,and is a major concern. Methamphetamine ("shabu")and marijuana ("weeds" or "damo"), are the mostcommon drugs accounting most drug-related arrests.Most of the illegal drug trade involved members oflarge Chinese triad groupsoperating in the Philippines,owing to its location on drug smuggling routes.Petty crimePetty crime, which includes pick-pocketing, is a problemin the Philippines. It takes place usually in locations withmany people, ranging from shopping hubs to churches.Traveling alone to withdraw cash after dark is a risk,especially for foreigners.Violent crimeViolent crime is high in the country; foreigners are usuallythe victims. As many Filipinos are stricken with poverty,one alternative they take is to kidnap others for money.MurderIn 2014, the Philippines has a murder rate of 9.84 per100,000 people, with a number of 9,784 recorded cases.The country also has the highest rate of murder cases inSoutheast Asia in 2013, with a rate of 8.8, followed byThailand.The murder rate in the Philippines reached itspeak in 2002 and 2010, with rates of 8.1 (6,553 cases)and 9.5 (8,894 cases).Human trafficking
Human trafficking and the prostitution of children is asignificant issue in the Philippines, often controlled byorganized crime syndicates. Human trafficking in thecountry is a crime against humanity.In an effort to deal with the problem, the Philippinespassed Republic Act (R.A.) 9208, the Anti-Trafficking inPersons Act of 2003, a penal law against humantrafficking, sextourism, sexslavery and prostitution.Nevertheless, enforcement is reported to be inconsistent.ProstitutionProstitution in the Philippines is illegal. It is a seriouscrime with penalties ranging up to life imprisonment forthose involved in trafficking. It is covered by the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. prostitution is still sometimesillegally available through brothels (also known as casa),bars, karaoke bars, massage parlors, street walkersand escort services. As of 2009, one source estimatesthat there are 800,000 women working as prostitutes inthe Philippines, with some of them believed to beunderage. While victims are largely female, andaccording to the current Revised Penal Code, there are infact a small minority of them who are male.Corruption and police misconductCorruption is a great problem in the Philippines. In May2013, during the country's elections, some 504 politicalcandidates were accused mostly of corruption and someof violent crimes. Police misconduct is a known issue inthe country; in April 2013, a short video, titled Like aBOSS, showcasing the assault on an unarmed individualby three police officers went viral online, promptingthe Philippine National Police to investigate the matter.