Chief Superintendent Gen. Rhodel O. Sermonia, director of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Community Relations Group (PCRG) in Dubai Image Credit: Irish Eden Belleza / Gulf News

Dubai: Are Filipinos one of the most law-abiding expats in the UAE?

A top cop of the Philippine National Police (PNP) official visiting Dubai answered in the affirmative.

Chief Superintendent Gen. Rhodel O. Sermonia, director of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Community Relations Group (PCRG), told Gulf News #Pinoy in Dubai: "We had a meeting with our counterparts here and they mentioned that Filipinos are one of the most law-abiding foreign nationals in the UAE."

"They mentioned that Filipinos obey and respect the laws here. That’s why that they told us that they really like the presence of almost 1,000,000 Filipinos here in the UAE."

Gen. Sermonia visited the UAE and Saudi Arabia earlier this week to meet their law-enforcement counterparts as well as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) for the launch of the PNP's Police Community Relations (PCR) programme.

Sermonia, who came with the Philippines' former top-cop, Gen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, said that as part of Global PCR, they are establishing conduits between the PNP and foreign embassies in Philippines in matters related to transnational crimes and terrorism.

Both Sermonia and dela Rosa thanked UAE authorities for helping arrest and extradite Kerwin Espinosa, a suspected Filipino drug kingpin, who fled the Philippines but was shortly arrested by Abu Dhabi Police.

Successful partnership

"We have a very successful partnership with the UAE authorities, for example, in the the arrest of Kerwin Espinosa," Sermonia added. "We are thankful for the support extended to the Philippine National Police by the UAE law enforcemeant agencies in this case." 

The Global PCR programme seeks to address specific concerns of Filipinos abroad — and those which affect their families in the Philippines in terms security, public safety and peace and order, he explained.

Before coming to Dubai, Semonia ealier met OFW groups in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.

They also met Filipino communities in Los Angeles and San Francisco in California earlier and are set to make swings to certain European cities.

Advice to OFWs

In Dubai, the officer urged Filipino expatriates: "To all our Kababayans (fellow countrymen) here in the UAE and all over the world — if you are in a foreign land, the first thing you have to do is know the rules and the existing laws. As much as possible, we have to avoid violating the laws in foreign lands."

The official said that part of their global PCR aims to harness partnerships with police forces in other countries. 

"Aside from taking care of our Kababayans here through them, we will be able also to help them by taking care of their their own nationals staying in the Philippines," he said.

How to get in touch with the Global PCR? "Through social media. We have a Facebook site, we're also on Twitter," explained Sermonia.

The Facebook page of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Police Community Relations Group. Gulf News

"The social media is very effective in our work," he said, adding the police would only achieve success its mission with the help of the communities it serve and counterpart law-enforcement agencies in other countries.

He encouraged OFWs as well as expatriates living in the Philippines to support the police in their work to keep the public safe.


He explained that PCRG also aims to mobilise the communities of foreigners residing in the Philippines as police's partners in addressing their security and safety concerns while in the Philippines.

The programme also involves agencies such as the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labour and Employment, Department of Trade and Industry and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.