Cops to arrest ‘tambays’ drinking in public places

CITY police director Senior Superintendent Nelson Aganon has ordered the rounding up of loiterers or “tambays” who drink alcoholic beverages in public places in Cagayan de Oro City.

Aganon issued the order on Friday, June 22, during a conference at the headquarters of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) after it secured a copy of a city ordinance prohibiting the drinking of alcoholic liquor and other intoxicating beverages in public places.

Public places, according to the ordinance, include public plazas, parks, roads, sidewalks, and alleys of the city and its barangays except on official functions or occasions duly authorized, sanctioned or approved by the barangay council concerned or the city council and/or covered by a permit issued therefore by the village chief or the city mayor.

Section 1 of the ordinance refers to the term alcoholic liquor as spirituous or intoxicating liquors of any kind, and includes whiskey, ale, beer, brandy, gin, rum, champagne, cana rum, Panay rum, basi, tuba, mallorca, or any other beverages liable to produce intoxication.

“It has been observed that public plazas, parks, roads, sidewalks, and alleys of the city including those of its barangays are being used as venue for liquor drinking sessions and sprees which are not only unsightly and offensive against public decency but, in some cases, would result to altercations,” the ordinance states.

Violators will be punished with a penalty of imprisonment of one to four months or a fine of P500 to P1,500, or both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.

The ordinance was passed in November 27, 1995.

“Naa na order si city director nga mangdakop subay ani nga ordinansa,” Cocpo spokesman Superintendent Mardy Hortillosa II said.

Hortillosa said this is the only local ordinance so far that would apply to President Rodrigo Duterte's order on crackdown against tambays.

The police officer clarified that they would not arrest those who drink in private establishments.

He also said people who will loiter and drink alcoholic beverages around the Rotunda area will be arrested.

Meanwhile, Mayor Oscar Moreno is set to convene this week the City Security and Development Council to discuss Duterte's order regarding the arrest of tambays.

Moreno said the meeting with the city's security force will tackle and assess the constitutional and legal issues of the said order, including the methodologies, and the respective roles of the stakeholders.

Duterte’s controversial order is currently facing criticisms, with some human rights groups saying that it is similar to the government's war on drugs which supposedly only targets the poor.

City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a admitted that the order is difficult to implement with the absence of ordinances or even a law.

Sabuga-a said it is important to create a policy that will define who can be considered tambays.

“The term tambay should be defined kay naa man uban diha nga nigawas lang ug nitambay sa ilang balay para magpahangin, lisod man pud sila imong arestohon (because there are others who just go outside and loiter to get fresh air, and you cannot arrest them). But generally, I understand that the tambays that the President were referring to were the ones who are likely to cause trouble, such as those drinking outside. So this is the importance of the definition of those tambays,” he said.

“The law also states that you can arrest only those who actually committed crimes, and so far we do not have any local ordinance that allows the arrest of those tambays doing nothing. As of now, we only have a Children's Code or the Parental Responsibility Code where we implement a certain curfew for the children. If these kids are still in the streets starting 10pm to 5am, we bring them to the police and call their parents, as well as the City Social Welfare Development personnel to ensure the safety of the children,” he said.


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