chapter  2
16 Pages

Policing Bagong Silang

Intimacy and politics in the Philippines
WithSteffen Jensen, Karl Hapal

Policing has always been intimately related to political processes and family relations in the Philippines. During the late American period and into Independence in 1945 after World War II, the main aim of policing was the assertion and preservation of the power of the landed elite. Besides the fact that policing is always a fundamentally political task, policing structures in Bagong Silang and elsewhere in the Philippines are also part of the political machines of strong families. This chapter explores how and to what extent policing has been caught in family and community relations as well as local electoral politics through an ethnographic analysis of the Barangay Justice System represented by the puroks and tanods. The system became a central and indispensable part of both state formation and the proliferation of private interests to an extent where state and private interests were co-produced and entangled rather than one being dominant at the expense of the other.