Bam Aquino seeks Senate probe on anti-tambay drive
Opposition Senator Bam Aquino wants the Senate to look into the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) campaign against loiterers.
Aquino filed Senate Resolution No. 772 on Monday, directing the committee on public order and dangerous drugs being chaired by Senator Panfilo Lacson to conduct the probe “with the end of view of protecting from unjust, discriminatory and abusive policies and practices.”
“There is a need to assess whether the PNP’s anti-tambay campaign, as well as the local ordinances on which they are supposedly based, are consistent with national laws and the Constitution,” Aquino said in the resolution.
The senator noted that since President Rodrigo Duterte’s order against loiterers, the PNP has initiated its “anti-tambay” campaign supposedly to address the problem of criminality in the country.
As of June 21, 2018, the senator cited the National Capital Region Police Office’s report that 7, 291 loiterers have been arrested in the metropolis for alleged violations of various local ordinances.
However, Aquino pointed out, “There is no law against vagrancy or loitering in public.”
He said the Anti-Vagrancy Law was repealed in 2012 with the passage of Republic Act No. 10158 or the Act decriminalizing Vagrancy.
While PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde claimed that those who were arrested had violated various ordinances, the senator cited several reports of individuals being arrested and detained while outside their house or waiting outside a friend’s house.
Aquino also mentioned in the resolution the case of Genesis “Tisoy” Argoncillo, who was reportedly nabbed and detained last June 15 for alarm and scandal. Four days after, he died under the custody of police.
“Maraming mga detalye na hindi tumutugma, pero ang malinaw sa akin, hindi dapat namatay si Tisoy,” the senator said in a statement.
“Hindi sya mamamatay kung hindi pinatupad ang isang polisiya na nakatarget ang mahihirap,” he added.
Duterte, however, later denied ordering the arrests of loiterers.
“Those sons of bitches were not listening,” he said, referring to his critics, in a speech last Friday.
“I never said, ‘arrested.’ But if you are drinking in the alley, in the squatters area and making a living room out of the road there, you’ll really get nabbed,” the president said.
“So that these deranged constitutionalists would know that loitering is not a crime – of course it is not,” he added. /vvp
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