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Southeast Asia, explained

Philippines police guns 2012 03 01Enlarge
A Philippine policeman grips his riot shield during a rally in Manila on March 1, 2012. (NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Police officials in the Philippines have disclosed a worrisome fact to the Associated Press: scant police budgets have left roughly one-fifth of the national force without state-issued firearms.

Depending on an Filipino officer's post, the potential dangers include: organized crime syndicates, Islamic separatists, one of the world's last communist rebellions and more.

Many cops are apparently expected to pay for guns out of pocket or go weaponless.

So where's the money that should be spent on arming police?

The Philippines' interior secretary, the AP reports, has "blamed the problem on money lost to corruption and wrong priorities by past officials, who appropriated funds for such projects as renovating a swimming pool in a police camp."