OWNERS of convenience stores have been told not to allow customers to drink alcoholic beverages within their premises unless they have licenses from the Cagayan de Oro City Government.
During a meeting of the committee on trade and commerce on July 10, Councilor George Goking created a technical working group to come up with guidelines and cite the difference between the public and private places before the police make another round of arrests.
"We tasked the Regulatory and Complaint Board (RCB) to head the technical working group to resolve this private or public place conflict. Do we drink in an area designated as a parking area but is public in essence?" he said.
This clarification should be issued before another round of arrests will be initiated by police. Until then, Goking said he hopes the police can mellow down the arrests.
He also told convenience stores to not allow drinking as the guidelines are yet to be issued.
City Ordinance 5133-95 prohibits drinking alcohol beverages in public places, which include public plazas, parks, roads, sidewalks and alleys of the city and barangays.
"My advice to police, instead of intensifying their arrests, they should also intensify their information drive to avoid complaints, so that our constituents will not be shocked," he said.
"We are doing this because we are also protecting our taxpayers. But we are also careful that our peace and order will not be sacrificed just because we want to drink alcohol and violate our ordinance," he added.
Goking said he welcomes any appeal from the business community who wants to continue to allow drinking in their stores.
There are more than 100 individuals who were arrested by police in the city following President Rodrigo Duterte's directive last June 13 to "go after" loiterers, which he described as "potential trouble" for the public.
Youth group Kabataan partylist of Northern Mindanao, meanwhile, established a so-called Tambay Hotline that will monitor reported violations and provide paralegal assistance to individuals arrested by the police.
“We vehemently condemn the crackdown of Tambays in Cagayan de Oro. The crackdown is a clear manifestation of the dark times during the Martial Law era of Marcos. It is a clear wholesale violation of human rights by the Duterte regime and the wannabe cronies in the local government unit," Kabataan Partylist NMR Coordinator Vennel Chenfoo said.
“Citing local city ordinances is just a cheap and insulting excuse of the City Mayor and PNP chief,” said Chenfoo.
"Since time immemorial the liquor drinking spree of Kagay-anons in the streets of Corrales and Rotunda have already been happening The strict implementation of these ordinances during the time after the president's directive speaks volumes about the intent of such campaign. early, they are trying to terrorize the people of Cagayan de Oro with these arbitrary arrests under the guise of maintaining peace and order," he added.
The youth group will also intensify their education campaign by distributing educational materials such as flyers and pamphlets, which state the basic rights of individuals especially when they are arrested by the police.