Police have arrested over 8,000 loiterers in Metro Manila during the past week. The President has been criticized for the roundup of loiterers, which is perceived to target mainly the poor.
Edd Gumban/File
Accost, not arrest tambays – Duterte
Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) - June 23, 2018 - 12:00am

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — He knows that loitering is not a crime, President Duterte stressed last night as he clarified that he ordered police only to accost, not arrest idlers or tambays.

Police have arrested over 8,000 loiterers in Metro Manila during the past week. The President has been criticized for the roundup of loiterers, which is perceived to target mainly the poor.

“Of course I can accost you. I can ask what you are doing here if you are a minor,” he said in a speech before participants in the 2018 National ICT Summit held at the SMX Convention Center in this city.

As the “father of the nation,” Duterte said he can “give advice to people like minors na nakahubad (who are unclothed).”

The President said there are even men who wear pants that are not decent enough to be worn in public.

“Yang tambay, I never said arrest them. Napakagagago naman nito (Such fools). Why don’t you listen to what I said? Why don’t you rewind the tape?” he said.

Duterte also cited the latest Social Weather Station survey wherein 58 percent of Filipinos signified they are worried about street crimes. He said this is why he is pushing for the crackdown on tambays.

The crackdown drew flak following reports of police abuse in the death of Genesis Argoncillo, 25, who died in jail following his arrest.

Duterte, in a speech before newly promoted police personnel on June 14, directed them to tell the tambays to go home.

“My directive is ‘pag mag-istambay-istambay sabihin niyo, ‘Umuwi kayo. ‘Pag ‘di kayo umuwi, ihatid ko kayo don sa opisina ni ano don, Pasig’. Ako na ang bahala, ilagay mo lang diyan. Talian mo ‘yung kamay pati bin–ihulog mo diyan sa ano. (My directive is if there is someone who stands by, tell them, ‘Go home. If you don’t go home, I will bring you to the office of – there in Pasig.’ Leave it up to me. Just put them there. Tie their hands together even the – drop them somewhere). Do not–you be strict. Part of confronting people just idling around. They are potential trouble for the public,” he said.

The President, in a Sept. 18, 2017 speech before a gathering of prosecutors in Taguig, said he wants police to arrest those who loiter in the streets at night, claiming they may be up to no good, and persons drinking in public places.

LOITERERS SOCIAL WEATHER STATION TAMBAYS
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