MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) rounded up 302 people for different violations, heeding the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to step up the drive against "tambays" – Filipino slang for loiterers in the streets.
The QCPD said in a statement on Saturday, June 16, that the arrests were made following the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte and directives from the Philippine National Police headquarters to rid off the streets of tambays in a bid to lessen crime and maintain peace and order."
“Mas pina-igting natin ang implementation ng mga city ordinances alinsunod na din sa instruction ng ating pangulo upang mas maging ligtas at payapa ang ating mga lansangan. Pina-aalalahanan ko po ang ating mga kababayan na sumunod sa mga ordinansa dahil ito ay para din sa ika-bubuti ng ating lipunan,” said Chief Superintendent Joselito Esquivel Jr, QCPD chief.
(We intensified the implementation of our city ordinances in compliance with the President’s instructions to make our streets safer and more peaceful. I am reminding the public to follow the ordinances because this is for our welfare.)
In a speech before soldiers and cops, Duterte said if loiterers would not go home, he would deal with them himself. “Ako nang bahala. Ilagay mo lang diyan. Talian mo ‘yung kamay pati. Ihulog ko yan diyan sa (I’ll take care of it. Put them there. Tie their hands, I’ll throw them into ) –," he said, leaving the last word to the listeners' imagination.
It was a reiteration of the President's warning in September last year, when he ordered the police to "pick up" those who loiter in the streets at night and arrest persons drinking in public places.
The QCPD said the individuals were apprehended for violating orders and ordinances that ban drinking and smoking in public, and roaming the streets half-naked.
The biggest number of arrests were made in Barangay Talipapa, where 101 people were caught drinking in public half naked, and 13 minors violated the curfew ordinance.
Some were apprehended for violating the anti-barker law, which prohibits people from calling on commuters to ride public utility vehicles in exchange for money, either from the passengers or from the drivers.
Some were found to possess shabu and bladed weapons.
Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin had earlier tagged Duterte's campaign against street loiterers martial law redux.
Malacañang defended the order as a preventive measure against crime, and that individuals who did not violate the law would not be arrested. In the past, cops had arrested individuals for violating the said ordinances.
Here is the breakdown of the QCPD arrests: