Palace: Upright citizens should not fear 'tambay' crackdown


Posted at Jun 20 2018 09:20 AM | Updated as of Jun 20 2018 09:22 AM

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Law-abiding citizens with good reputations have nothing to fear from intensified operations against "tambays" or late-night loiterers in the streets, which have triggered concerns of possible rights violations, Malacañang said Wednesday.

"Kung wala naman pong masamang ginagawa at hindi naman kilala na masamang miyembro ng komunidad iyan, wala naman pong dapat ikabahala," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told radio DZMM.

(If one is doing nothing wrong and is not known as an undesirable member of the community, there should be no cause for concern.)

President Rodrigo Duterte last week ordered law enforcers to be strict against loiterers, whom he branded as "potential trouble for the public."

Following his order, authorities arrested 5,500 "tambays" between July 13 and 18, the Metro Manila police said.

Among those arrested, however, were 2 call center agents who were coming home from work in Makati, reports said.

Tom Villarin of Akbayan party-list has criticized the crackdown, saying this was reminiscent of the situation during the martial law period. Senator Francis Pangilinan also pointed out that vagrancy is no longer a crime.

The Commission on Human Rights said it will investigate complaints against the anti-loitering drive, which it said may be violating citizens' right to freedom of movement and creating a culture of fear.

Police efforts against loiterers are anchored on local ordinances setting a curfew for minors and banning drinking sprees in public places and going out half-naked, said Manila police director Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar.

Police commanders are on the watch against any possible irregularity in its operations, he said.

DZMM, 20 June 2018