Solon on Duterte’s directive vs ‘tambays’: Is this martial law redux?

President Rodrigo Duterte and Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin ( file photos)

Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin suspects that President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive against “tambays” (loiterers) is reminiscent of the situation during martial law and is “leading to something sinister.”

While noting that there is “nothing wrong with fighting crime,” the opposition lawmaker said something must be afoot now that the President views common crime as a national security threat.

“Is this martial law redux when even converging in streets will lead you to jail or worse make you disappear in the murky waters of Pasig or somewhere else? Are these rants leading to something sinister that would expand the coverage of Proclamation 216?” he added.

Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza also opposed this directive.

“‘Yung mga tambay, ‘wag natin itali sa President, hindi naman komo tambay eh kriminal na eh,” he said at a media forum.

(Those loiterers, let’s not link it to the President; just because you’re loitering doesn’t mean you’re already a criminal.)

“Violence has never been the solution; it is a problem that will continue to grow as more violence is committed,” he added.

On Wednesday, the President directed authorities to be strict with tambays, saying they are “potential trouble for the public.”

“‘Yung kalsada, ‘yung highways are– we built it for the law-abiding citizens. Ang mga criminal dapat diyan, ang mga durugista, they are not supposed to be there. So my directive is ‘pag mag-istambay-istambay diyan sa, sabihin niyo, ‘Umuwi kayo. Kay ‘pag hindi kayo umuwi ihatid ko kayo doon sa opisina ni ano — Pasig,'” Duterte said in a speech on Wednesday.

(We built the streets and highways for the law-abiding citizens. The criminals and the druggies are not supposed to be there. So my directive is when you see a loiterer, tell them, “Go home. If you don’t go home, I will bring you to the Pasig office.”)

“Do not… You be strict. Part of confronting people who do not do nothing and just idling around, they are potential trouble for the public,” he added. /je

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