UPDATE : 2024.5.20 Mon 00:14
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Continued murders of 'Masarap Koreans'

When you think of Philippines, what comes to your head? A tropical climate? The perfect vacation spot? Mostly positive things will pop up when thinking of Philippines. However, not everything is pretty. There was a homicide of a middle aged man from South Korea in Philippines on February 22nd. Park was a retired professor from a local university and decided to emigrate to the Philippines 4 years ago. He was found dead in a residential area in the outskirts of Manila. The police reported that Professor Park was stabbed and his neighbors found him and called the police.

This was the first homicide of a South Korean in Philippines this year. However, it wasn't the first time in history. 10 people in 2014 and 11 in 2015 were killed in Philippines. A lot of Koreans choose Philippines for immigration after retirement due to the appropriate climate and great facilities such as golf courses. Filipinos design a plan to rob Korean residents or tourists’ money regardless of wealth. Some Filipinos call wealthy Koreans who come to Philippines 'Masarap Koreans' which means tasty Koreans. They have a perception that Koreans who come to Philippines have a lot of cash with them. This is because most Japanese and Chinese groups pay separately but Korean groups pay by gathering money from the group they are with. Also, they believe that Koreans give tips up to $100 while Japanese people pay only 1 or 2 dollars. These rumors are the biggest reasons why Koreans are targeted by local criminals and robbed and occasionally murdered. Some Filipinos say that some Koreans deserved to die since they disregard their country and their people. However that is no way to justify their crime of murder.

To prevent further incidents like this from happening, South Korea and the Philippines police are pushing a plan of installing more 'Korean desks' which takes full charge of Korean targeted crimes such as in Cebu and Batangas. There are only 2 Korean desks so far but the Korean police are considering to increase it up to 5 regions and finally to 17 regions and the Police chief clarified his opinion of investing 6million dollars for public safety of Koreans.

Then, what should we do to prevent the risk of becoming victims? Not all regions in Philippines are considered dangerous, so beware not to go into extraterritoriality and go to places where it is proven to be safe. Over 1.2 million people travel to Philippines every year. It's time to take this matter serious.

Jeong Seung-in  samcandothat@naver.com

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