Southern Police District operatives have apprehended more than 900 individuals in the continuing police campaign against the so-called tambays or street loiterers violating city ordinances.
The police operations is in line with the government’s anti-crime policy initiated by President Rodrigo Duterte to ensure a peaceful community, especially at night.
In its Jan. 13 to 19 accomplishment report, the SPD, with the help of local police stations, apprehended a total of 946 individuals during a series of night operations in the cities of Muntinlupa, Taguig, Makati, Pasay, Parañaque and Las Piñas, and the town of Pateros.
SPD spokesperson Supt. Jenny Tecson said most of those brought to the police stations violated the curfew for minors (ordinance) totaling 378. She added that 346 persons were also caught smoking in public places while 143 others were apprehended for drinking on the streets.
The rest of those apprehended were brought to police stations for littering and urinating in public.
Most of the apprehended 138 minors were caught in the City of Makati followed by Parañaque (115) and Taguig (52).
The City of Muntinlupa got the highest number of apprehended smokers with 190 while Makati caught 98 others. Parañaque City also has the highest number of arrest against street drinkers (75) followed by Pasay City (30).
In June 2018, President Duterte ordered police commanders to go against idlers to get rid of people loitering in the streets, especially at night.
But the Chief Executive reminded that the police should arrest only those who will violate municipal or city ordinances like urinating and drinking in public places, half naked, making loud noises, and violating the curfew for minors, among others.
The President also clarified that he never ordered law enforcement agents to arrest the so-called tambays, saying as a lawyer, he is fully aware of the rights of every person and clearly stated under the Constitution that loitering was not a crime on its own, except those who violate specific ordinances.
“If you are drinking in the alley, in the squatters’ area. If you are there, making a sala out of the road there, I’ll have you arrested. Here in Davao, you cannot see [anyone] doing it,” Duterte had said.
Duterte said as the “father of the nation,” he could still order the arrest of loiterers especially the “unruly” ones who might pose danger to other people especially women and children.
The police can also question any suspicious person loitering but not necessarily violating any specific above cited ordinance with regards to their presence and business in the area.
These persons should not be apprehended but instead be advised to be cautious or rather leave the area so as not to be victimized by lawless elements.
The police said that the government´s efforts to rid the streets of loiterers could help lessen crime and maintain peace and order, especially since the problem on illegal drugs “has become far worse.”