THE Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) on Thursday, June 28, has begun rounding up “tambays,” taking into custody a total of 27 residents for violating various local ordinances.
Cocpo spokesperson Superintendent Mardy Hortillosa said on the first day of the implementation, the arrested personalities were just reprimanded and advised to go home.
"Since the operation against tambays has just started, COCPO wants to give ample time for the public to be prepared," Hortillosa said.
Hortillosa said they will be especially strict in dealing with violators on the prohibition on drinking in public places.
"We would like to ask the cooperation of the public to help the police and the local government in implementing this strategy by giving information. If there are still violators even with the massive information dissemination, COCPO will have no option but to implement the laws whoever you are," he said.
Meanwhile, the City Government will implement the anti-tambay crackdown this week amid assurances from the city government that human rights will be strictly observed. Residents, officials said, are still free to hang out or loiter provided no local ordinances are violated.
Mayor Oscar Moreno cited the importance on the respect of the human rights guaranteed under the Constitution when implementing the order.
Moreno said while it is important to ensure that the community is safe, it is also equally important to observe the Bill of Rights.
"We will respect human rights, and at the same time fulfill the duty to secure our people. So our guidelines are, constitutional rights should be respected, and laws should be enforced," he said.
In a press conference, Moreno clarified only those that violate local and national ordinances will be apprehended, and not those who are merely hanging out with friends or neighbors.
Moreno said they are doing an inventory of the local ordinances and eventually issue guidelines to the public.
But Moreno pointed out that the ultimate guideline is to always be in a good behavior anywhere in the city.
"If you do not commit crimes, the police will not touch you or go after you," Moreno said.
Barangay tanods will also be tapped on this particular campaign by creating a Barangay Tanod Development Committee that will eventually set a criteria or qualifications for every resident who wants to be a tanod.
"We will screen them, train, and supervise them and we will really push for a greater interaction between police and tanods," Moreno said.
City Police Director Senior Superintendent Nelson Aganon also said tambays will only be in trouble if they will be caught with firearms, deadly weapons, and other articles used for crimes.
"We want to clear the negative notion on tambays, wala namang masama doon sa pagtatambay (it is not a bad thing to loiter), ang maiging problema doon ay yung mga tambay na may violation of law (the problem will be if you will violate our laws)," Aganon said.
At least 303 people have been arrested in Northern Mindanao from June 13 to 25, police says.