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Driving in Manila

Just came back from my last visit and I have never seen so many police giving out tickets in Manila. So while I avoid Manila like the plague, I know I will probably go in once a month when I retire. So I would like to get some info on the laws.
1. Can I use my American License or do I need to get a Filipino license?
2. My brother-in-law got a ticket and the officer wanted him to go down to the courthouse to pay the fine. Is this really required, or just a rip-off to bribe him?
3. In general what is the best way to handle these guys - be nice or be loud and complaining.

Any other advice would be appreciated.

Manila Forum