Squatters in Manila - next to High Rise Condos
In a couple of weeks I will re launch my thriller novel – Deadly Election. It is set in the Philippines. I thought I would devote a blog post to some interesting things about these unique Islands – and why I set my first novel there.
I love the islands, and the people – but I hate the few, richer and more powerful people whose actions and policies keep the people poor and subservient, and seek to impoverish any foreigner, especially those foolish enough to try to do business there. Those who resist extortion and bribery are often forced to flee or, if they are not quick enough, may be killed. The police are so corrupt and badly equipped there is little chance that any killer will be brought to justice. Until recently, if you became a police officer in Manila you had to buy your own gun, I am not sure if that is still the case.
Many International institutions generally recognise that the rule of Law is almost non-existent, with many cases lasting ten or twenty years, and usually being decided in favour of whoever can offer the highest bribe to the judge.
They have a crazy legal concept of ‘reconsideration’. If you disagree with a civil court judgement – instead of appealing to a higher court, you can ask the SAME court to RECONSIDER the matter – and see if they got it right the first time! How ridiculous. It is, of course, just an exercise to allow either side to ‘persuade’ the judge to change his/her mind with financial inducements.
Politics is equally shambolic. It is a democracy – everyone is free to vote – and everyone is free to sell their vote! When I last lived in the Province the cost of a vote was 1,000 – 1,500 pesos - $24 - $36, and that meant a lot to poor families. That was five years ago, but if things have changed it seems to me it is only for the worse.
Philippine politicians do not have policies. Elections are run on personalities only – and the result will not even depend on having a pleasing personality – it will depend on who your family is. Political Dynasties abound more in the Philippines than anywhere else.
The previous President languishes in jail after a botched attempt to leave the country. She is charged among other things with corruption, the same as several of her predecessors. But, I do not think she should worry. Immediately after a previous President was found guilty of corruption she pardoned him - he is the Mayor of Manila now. – who said crime does not pay!
If you have had a bad experience in the Philippines – please do get in touch with me – I intend to publish an anthology of ‘horror’ stories.
Ok, back to the lighter side. The cats have been missing for a couple of weeks – there have been complaints! – here are a few funnies to lighten the mood. Please do subscibe for my newsletter – the box is on the right. I will be offering subscribers freebies, goodies and offers over the next few weeks. Don’t miss out on the blog or the free stuff!
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Happy reading and writing. See you next week.
Meet the author
Arthur Crandon is a lawyer, the boring office kind, not the exciting (and much better paid) courtroom type. He worked as a solicitor for a while before embarking on an interesting life overseas. He has spent most of his time in recent years in South East Asia, more recently in Hong Kong. Before that, Arthur lived and worked in the Philippine Islands.
He loves to fish, and play the piano – but spends most of his time writing, eating, drinking and sleeping
– usually, but not always, in that order.
His first book, Deadly Election, draws on his strange imagination and his
experiences, together with those of others, in a land that, beneath a veneer of civilisation, operates like the Wild West and is very
dangerous to innocent and gullible foreigners.
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My thriller - Deadly Election - is now on sale at Amazon. Anyone who buys the book and leaves a review will get a signed paperback. Please subscribe to my blog and newsletter here