Pangilinan to PNP: Loitering no longer a crime
After the Philippine National Police (PNP) vowed to intensify anti-crime operations by apprehending bystanders, Senator Kiko Pangilinan reminded that loitering is no longer a criminal offense.
“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 on Monday.
The opposition senator was referring to the Act Decriminalizing Vagrancy passed by the 15th Congress, which replaced the original stance on loitering. According to the Revised Penal Code, individuals “found loitering about public or semi-public buildings or places” is a guilty of vagrancy, which is a punishable crime.
President Rodrigo Duterte has warned bystanders on Wednesday, whom he claims are a source of crime in the streets. Responding to the president’s statements, PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said that the police operations against loiterers are nothing new, as it has been a part of efforts to deter crime.
The current administration’s critics said that the move mimicked the state of the country during the Martial Law in 1972.
However, Malacañang said that if no crime has been committed, there is no basis for arrest. PNP also clarified that the rights of the people would still be paramount for officers doing patrol at night.
The senator also advised law enforcers to study the law in order to implement it correctly and accordingly.
“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,” Pangilinan said.
“Sumunod sa batas at hindi sa utos na lumabag dito,” he added.
Pangilinan also emphasized the salary increases that uniformed personnel got, urging them to serve as they are mandated to do so.
“Doble na sweldo ng mga pulis, sundalo, at lahat ng uniformed personnel ng pamahalaan. Gampanan n’yo naman ang inyong tungkulin sa taumbayang pinagmumulan ng inyong kabuhayan at kapangyarihan,” he said.
“Maglingkod nang maayos at nang ayon sa batas,” he added. /cbb
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