Youth group protests PNP drive against ‘tambays’
Members of the Akbayan Youth have staged a protest against the Philippine National Police (PNP) operations targeting loiterers at night, claiming that vagrancy has been long decriminalized.
“Hindi krimen ang pagtambay. Nakakabahala ang libu-libong nahuli ng mga pulis. Wala namang batas laban sa pagtambay dahil na-abolish na ito noong 2012,” Justine Balane of Akbayan Youth said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Inamin din ng PNP na wala pa silang guidelines sa sinimulan nilang operations,” he added.
(Loitering is not a crime. The police’s arrest of thousands is alarming. There is no law against loitering as it was already abolished last 2012. PNP has also admitted that they do not have any guidelines for their operations.)
The group brought along placards insisting that loitering is not a crime in their #TambayProtest program, held near the Kalayaan Market in Barangay Central, Quezon City.
According to the group, this may be the biggest illegal detention case in the country as of the moment.
“Kahit mga taong nasa labas lang ng bahay ng mga kaibigan nila na wala naman ilegal na ginagawa ay hinuli. Posibleng isa ito sa pinakamalaking illegal detention case sa bansa ngayon,” Balane said.
(Even people who are just outside the homes of their friends, and those who have not done anything illegal are arrested. It is possible that this is the largest illegal detention case in the country today.)
In a recent report, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar said that 7,291 individuals have been arrested from June 13 to Wednesday, June 20. The numbers indicate that an average of 1,042 arrests per day within Metro Manila.
The PNP’s operations was borne out of a directive from President Rodrigo Duterte, who warned of jailing idlers whom he claimed are the source of crime in the streets.
“Kailangang i-monitor ang libo-libong hinuli ng PNP. Ayon sa batas, bawal makulong ang mga tao ng higit 12 oras kung walang kaso laban sa kanya,” Balane said, saying that the Duterte administration should be held accountable for these actions.
(We need to monitor the thousands arrested by the PNP. According to the law, a person cannot be jailed for more than 12 hours if there is no case against him or her.)
The group, which has been critical of the president, suggested that instead of arresting “tambays,” the current administration should focus on fighting the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law and the “endo” or end of contract policy.
They claimed that the TRAIN law and “endo” might be a big reason why the loiterers are in the streets in the first place.
“Maraming tumatambay para magpalipas oras, makibalita sa mga kapitbahay o kabarangay, at makipagkita sa mga kaibigan. Kung tutuusin, marami sa mga tambay ay ang mga na-endo, hindi nakapag-aral, o problemado sa taas ng presyo dulot ng TRAIN,” Balane said.
(A lot of people loiter to make pass the time, chat with their neighbors, or to meet with their friends. Several of the idlers are either laid off from work, those who cannot study, or those who have problems with the rising prices of commodities because of TRAIN.)
“Walang solusyon si Duterte sa mga isyung ito. Si Duterte na rin ang nagparami ng mga tambay,” he added.
(Duterte has no solution for this: he is actually the cause of the growing numbers of loiterers in the streets.) /je
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