‘Rescue’ drive clears Metro Manila streets of 1,030 beggars
More than 1,000 beggars had been rounded up and taken off the streets of Metro Manila as of Christmas morning, according to data from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
The mendicants were the subject of over 100 police “rescue” operations that had been conducted throughout the capital since Dec. 11, initially prompted by reports that large numbers of indigenous persons were flocking to Manila to ask for alms during the holidays.
Metro Manila’s five police districts recorded that 1,030 beggars were rounded up during the operations, with 202 allegedly belonging to the northern Aeta tribe and 198 to the coastal Badjao peoples. Of the total, 60 percent or 619 were minors.
NCRPO chief, Director Guillermo Eleazar, seemingly mindful of the public relations nightmare a perceived crackdown on beggars would create, had made clear from the start that his directive was not to arrest any of them.
The NCRPO data showed that 476 of those caught were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development while 379 were placed in the custody of their respective barangay officials. On the other hand, 25 were let go with a warning.
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