Soon, police officers will be required to recite the Miranda warning in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese language when arresting foreign nationals.

The Philippine National Police’s Human Rights Affairs Office (PNP HRAO) will translate into four different languages the Miranda rights when making arrests which says: You have the right to remain silent. Any statement you make may be used against you in a court of law in the Philippines. You have the right to have a competent and independent counsel preferably of your own choice. If you cannot afford the services of a counsel, the government will provide you one. Do you understand these rights?

Senior Superintendent Dennis Siervo, HRAO acting chief, said this was to overcome the language barrier between the police and arrested persons. He said this was prompted by the increasing number of foreigners in the country, especially Chinese nationals who are often arrested in Palawan for poaching.

Kapag binasa po itong Miranda warning, dapat po maintindihan so in compliance with that, dapat babasahin po sa language kung ano ang nationality nu’ng aarestuhin na suspect, Siervo said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

(When they read the Miranda warning, the person being arrested should understand it, so in compliance with that, it should be read in the language of the suspect.)

If police officers would find it difficult to recite the rights in other languages, Siervo said voice recordings of the Miranda Warning in Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese will also be made available by HRAO on its website www.hrao.pnp.gov.ph.

So when arresting foreigners, policemen should recite first the English version then show them the Miranda Warning card. At the same time, they would play the voice recording for the foreigners to understand, he said.

Siervo said the translation was in compliance with the International Human Rights Law as an offshoot of the Performance Governance System, which is part of the PNP’s transformation program that started in 2005.

Before the Miranda rights was translated into international languages, the PNP first issued a version of the warning in local dialects including Bisaya and Ilokano.