ANGELES CITY – Thankful to Koreans for their investments here, Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan nonetheless appealed to them to end business rivalries that have led to violence among them, as well as misplaced nationalism in disregard of their host country.
“I had to ask them to refrain from displaying solely the South Korean flag in the section of Friendship Highway where they have established their own lair, as if they have claimed the area as territory of their country,” Pamuntuan said in his monthly briefing to local media Wednesday.
This city hosts about 2,000 South Koreans. Some have put up various establishments here such as hotels, restaurants, spas, night clubs, resorts, and even schools and churches, mostly in the area of Friendship Highway along the perimeter of Clark Freeport, a former US Air Force base.
Pamintuan said South Koreans have overtaken Americans as the top investors in his city which also hosts other nationalities either as tourists or expatriates. Pamintuan admitted several crimes that included murder with Koreans as victims and their compatriots as suspects.
“At one time, a Korean withdrew $10,000 from an ATM machine and immediately after withdrawal, he was shot in the foot and his withdrawal was stolen,” he recalled, noting that the suspect was also a Korean.
The mayor admitted the presence of rival groups of Koreans, even as he refused to refer to them as “mafi as.”
This, even as Pamintuan also appealed to Koreans not to pay local cops to provide them special security services. “I tell them it’s the duty of cops to protect everybody in their area regardless of nationality,” he stressed.