THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) noted on Tuesday, June 19, the benefit of stricter rules against loitering on the streets especially at night.
DILG officer-in-charge Eduardo Año said the main idea of imposing stricter rules against “tambays” (loiterers) is to keep communities safe from criminals.
Earlier, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde said there were several reports that troubles in the barangays are caused by street loiterers particularly those drinking in public places.
“Kasi madalas dyan lalo na ‘yung mga naka-istambay umiinom sa kalsada, kapag may dumaan kinukursonada na nagiging sanhi ng away. Kung minsan naman binabastos ‘yung mga merong babae na dumadaan so yun ang iniiwasan natin. This is all for the safety of everybody,” he said.
Año said there is nothing new about the operations against "tambays" found violating city ordinances such as drinking and/or smoking in public places, going out half-naked and curfew on minors.
He said President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement against "tambays" has gained support from local government units, especially the barangays.
Newly-elected punong barangay Jesse James Ting of the newly created Barangay Maharlika in San Pedro, Laguna Duterte’s directive on tambays is a big help in keeping their area peace and orderly.
“Bilang first termer na punong barangay, malaking tulong po ang sinabi ng Presidente sa pagpapanatili ng kapayapaan sa barangay namin. Kung minsan po ‘yung mga tambay lalo na ‘yung mga naglalasing sa labas ng kalye kapag gabi, sila ang nagiging dahilan ng simula ng away at gulo,” he said.
“Malaking tulong din po ito sa pagsugpo ng iligal na droga, pagpapatupad ng curfew sa kabataan at pagbabawal sa inuman sa kalsada sa alanganing oras ng gabi,” he added.
DILG Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said being strict with street loiterers and city ordinances violators is just one of several measures being carried out by local government authorities in fulfilling their duty to protect the general welfare of the public.
“Let us give our LGUs a chance to exercise their mandate of protecting their constituency and ensuring the safety of their communities. After all, these measures are for the greater good of the community,” he said.
"The President is simply concerned with the welfare of all Filipinos especially law-abiding citizens who need to go to work or return home late at night. Thus, the President's remarks is more in the nature of crime prevention than anything else. Let us not read too much into it as the critics are wont to do," he added.
Albayalde eased the public’s fear over the possible declaration of martial law in the entire country following the intensified operations against "tambays".
“Hindi naman siguro, malayong malayo (It is highly unlikely),” he said.
Albayalde reiterated that the PNP has been arresting persons violating such city ordinances since “long ago.”
However, he said he already instructed the Directorate for Operations to create guidelines to ensure police on the ground will exercise discernment and human rights are respected during such operations. (SunStar Philippines)