Ping: PNP chief explaining ‘tambay’ drive raises suspicion
Local authorities should be the ones implementing the anti-“tambay” campaign since the loiterers were being rounded up for violating local ordinances, according to Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson.
The lawmaker, a former chief of Philippine National Police, said having the current PNP chief involved in the crackdown was only raising suspicion.
For Lacson, there was no need to elevate the issue to the level of the national police since the loiterers were being arrested for violating local laws, including the prohibition on smoking or going shirtless in public.
“If they say being a tambay violates local ordinances, keep it local. The PNP chief (Oscar Albayalde) doing all the explaining and justifying instead of the concerned local chiefs of police only adds up to the suspicion and criticisms,” Lacson pointed out.
He added that police officials in a city or municipality should be left to implement the unique ordinances in their respective areas.
‘No space for that’
Meanwhile, Malacañang questioned the figure given by the PNP itself on the number of loiterers arrested so far.
“I dispute that it’s 7,000 people [who] were actually arrested. We don’t have the space for that given that we have overcrowding in our jail facilities,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing on Thursday.
The figure may be less than 7,000, possibly including those who were accosted for loitering but not actually arrested, he told reporters.
“Many them may have been called out by the police. Those arrested were not just arrested because they were idling around but because they were idling while committing a crime,” he added.—LEILA SALAVERRIA AND JULIE M. AURELIO /ee
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