NCRPO chief: Crackdown vs ‘tambay’ doesn’t target the poor
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) shot down allegations that its anti-crime drive only targets poor people in the society amid criticisms that policemen purportedly skip posh villages and other ritzy areas in the enforcement of their campaign.
“Eh wala namang tambay doon, walang nag-iinuman sa public,” NCRPO Director Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar said on Thursday in response to questions on why the Philippine National Police (PNP) has not conducted its anti-tambay operations in exlcusive villages and upscale areas like Tomas Morato in Quezon City, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, and Makati City.
“Doon sa mga closed villages, merong mga security guards doon na force multiplier na tumutulong sa atin. Kung kinakailangan nila ang ating assistance, they can always coordinate with us at tatakbo agad tayo doon,” he added.
Eleazar also told reporters after the Metro Manila Council (MMC) meeting at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) central office that the PNP does not arrest ‘tambays’ or loiterers for being as such, unless these people have violated certain laws and ordinances.
“Hindi por que’t tambay ka huhulihin ka namin. Kahit nga hindi ka tambay but if you are violating pertinent laws and appropriate city ordinances into place, huhulihin ka namin,” he said.
“Una, hindi pupunta ang pulis doon para sabihin na kukunin ka namin kung wala kang violation. Kaya ka kukunin doon siguro naka-hubad ka, halimbawa, nag-iinom ka sa public place, o nagsisigarilyo,” Eleazar added.
However, the NCRPO chief also said these decisions are being left to the “judgment call” of police officers conducting patrols.
“Definitely, mas magiging strikto tayo to see to it na walang karapatan ng sino man ang ma-violate,” he noted.
Nothing to fear
Several sectors of the society has expressed their concerns over President Rodrigo Duterte’s warning against tambays, with some perceiving it to have certain similarities to the Martial Law regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde have defended Mr. Duterte’s pronouncements, saying the President’s directive is an effective way to prevent crime and that it was no different from past operations of the police force.
Eleazar said the anti-tambay operations should not be seen as prelude to a nationwide declaration of martial law, as he claimed that such declaration is not in the mind of the President.
“No, malabo ‘yon, wala sa pag-iisip ng ating presidente. I’ve been attending command conferences pero hindi ‘yon. In fact, siya na rin ang nagsabi, it’s complicated kung may martial law sa buong bansa,” Eleazar pointed out.
He also allayed fears that the policy may be used to abuse citizens, saying that while everything can be an accessory to abuse, rules are in place to ensure the safety of the public.
“Lahat ng bagay could be subjected to abuse, what is more important is that meron tayong mechanism, safety measures para kung merong pagkakamali agad maaksyunan,” Eleazar said.
“Otherwise kung iisipin natin na laging subject to abuse ‘yan, eh hindi na tayo makakagalaw,” he added. /kga
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