MANILA - When dealing with police officers during operations against "tambays," one should cooperate but also know his rights, the spokesperson for the Philippine National Police said Tuesday.
There are specific penalties for certain offenses and one should only be detained if there was an "obvious violation" of the laws and local ordinances, said PNP spokesperson Senior Superintendent Bong Durana.
"If you’re just being invited to shed light on some reports or some suspicion, you need not be detained," he told ANC's Headstart, noting that one can refuse such an invitation from the police.
"It’s also very important para sa mga kababayan natin to know their rights,” he said, adding the PNP has launched a mobile application to inform the public and the police force of their rights and duties.
Durana added, however, that when dealing with the police, "you should be very cooperative."
"Don’t be too arrogant because being arrogant will elicit a similar response."
"It will be important for our countrymen when they’re accosted by the police or when they’re dealing with the police that they should be cooperative because the police, as far as the PNP is concerned, what we have in mind is only for the best of not only of the few but the rest of Filipinos," he said.
While he confirmed that there was an incident in Makati City, the local police commander said the involved individuals were immediately released. The PNP is now investigating if they were detained.
Two call center agents were allegedly brought to a Makati police station late Saturday while waiting outside a friend's house. They were detained for about an hour.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, one of the call center agents said President Rodrigo Duterte's pronouncement against "tambays" was the reason cited for their detention.
The station commander said, however, they were only invited to the police station to confirm their identities because they were not residing in the area.
Some 5,500 individuals were arrested in the past 5 days of operations against the loiterers, according to Metro Manila police chief C/Supt. Guillermo Eleazar.
Duterte earlier ordered law enforcers to be strict against loiterers, saying they are “potential trouble for the public.” - with a report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News