UNFAZED by criticisms, President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, June 20, maintained that he wants the Philippine National Police (PNP) to continue the implementation of the anti-loitering campaign.
In a speech in Iloilo, the President said his order to the PNP to crack down on loiterers or "tambays" was meant to promote safer streets.
Duterte was heavily criticized by his strict policy against loiterers, but he stressed that arresting bystanders especially at night would make the communities safe from potential harm.
“’Yung utos sa pulis na ‘yung mga tambay [arestuhin], sundin lang ninyo ‘yung utos ko. Wala namang inaaresto. I just don’t want you using the streets to loiter,” he said.
(On my order for the police [to arrest] loiterers, just follow it. No one is being arrested. I just don’t want you using the streets to loiter.)
Since Duterte ordered to intensify the anti-loitering drive, the PNP has so far arrested 7,291 street loiterers in Metro Manila from June 13 to 20.
The arrested individuals, according to the PNP, reportedly violated ordinances on curfew, smoking and drinking in public places, being half-naked. Also apprehended were illegal vendors, illegal barkers, and violators of the trafic code.
The President said he merely sought to instill “little discipline,” just like what he did when he was the mayor of Davao City.
“You can see what a little discipline can do to a place. Davao City -- you would not believe it, check it with the -- it’s hitting 9.6 (percent) growth rate,” he said.
“Kung masunod ko lang ‘yung Davao sa lahat, okay na. Kumportable na tayo. I mean, that’s the kind of life that I want every Filipino to [experience] -- they can walk around, park on rural road,” he added.
(“If I can do to the country the things I did in Davao, it would be good. We will all be comfortable. I mean, that’s the kind of life that I want every Filipino to [experience] -- they can walk around, park on rural road.”) (SunStar Philippines)