Last week, hundreds of bystanders also widely known as “tambays” has been praised by many netizens because they believe that people should stay at home during nighttime.
But Liberal Party President and Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan seems didn’t like the operations conducted by Philippine National Police (PNP) against some bystanders, pointing out that loitering was already decriminalized during the former Aquino administration.
“Para po sa mga tagapagpatupad ng batas, hindi na po krimen ang tumambay, o mag-loiter. Republic Act 10158 has decriminalized vagrancy, amending Article 202 of the Revised Penal Code,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
He also reminded the cops that their salary was already doubled by the government, so they should do their job more carefully and follow the law.
“Doble na sweldo ng mga pulis, sundalo, at lahat ng uniformed personnel ng pamahalaan. Gampanan niyo naman ang inyong tungkulin sa taumbayang pinagmumulan ng inyong kabuhayan at kapangyarihan. Maglingkod nang maayos at nang ayon sa batas.” he said.
“Kayo ang tagapagpatupad ng batas, alamin ito at ipatupad nang tama. Kayo ang dapat manguna sa pagsunod ng batas at hindi pasimuno sa paglabag dito. Sumunod sa batas at hindi sa utos na lumabag dito.” he added.
Pangilinan is not the only one who opposed this new order of President Duterte, Akbayan party-list representative Tom Villarin also criticized the arrest of some bystanders because it imitates the situation during the martial law period.
“Nothing wrong with fighting crime being a responsibility of government. But if you go down to going after tambays and having them thrown in the Pasig River, then something must be afoot now that President Duterte views common crime being a national security threat,” Villarin said in a statement.
On June 13, President Duterte said called the loiterers as “potential trouble” and said that the streets should only be used by law-abiding citizens.
He warned the loiterers, not to go out in their homes during nighttime because they might face arrest, or else worse than that.
“‘Pag hindi kayo umuwi, ihatid ko kayo doon sa opisina ni ano—Pasig. Ako nang bahala. Ilagay mo lang diyan. Talian mo ‘yung kamay pati—ihulog ko yan diyan sa…”
Several days after the statements from Duterte, hundreds of ‘tambays’ faced arrest in different parts of Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, the Palace defended Duterte’s statement against the loiterers, said that the former Davao City Mayor only wants a stricter enforcement of city ordinances to fight criminality.
“The President’s remarks are for the police to ask those who stay late at night in the streets to go home. Now, should they be arrested if they refuse? The President as a lawyer knows that if no crime has been committed, there is no basis for arrest,” Roque said in a statement.