Philippines: ‘It’s the end of a journey’ for a poor traveler
A former poor traveler from Manila who spent almost a decade in Cebu has been arrested for allegedly stealing food, clothing and other things from Manila International Airport.
The former traveler, who goes by “P.J.,” was arrested Monday at his home in Banda Aceh, a province in southern Philippines, and has been charged with theft and attempted theft.
He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to P200,000 ($890).
P.I. was a poor man’s Pampanga and the Philippines was his home for the last 15 years, he told The Associated Press by telephone from his home on the island of Cebucal.
He said he had been living in Manila’s airport for more than two decades but had been trying to move back to Cebuca since he was in his late 30s.
The Philippines, with an estimated population of more than 11 million, has struggled to get by.
The Philippines ranks last in the world for poverty, with 16.3 percent of the population in poverty, according to the World Bank.
The poverty rate is higher in the country’s northern region, which includes Mindanao, where the Philippine military bases.
P.P.’s family had a long struggle to get through the Philippines, said P.P., who is also from Cebuyang.
P.J., however, said he has been living on the streets since he left Manila and was lucky enough to have some good friends.
He said his friend had to give him the money and a few days later, he got a phone call.
Pampanga is one of the poorest cities in the Philippines.