The Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) on Thursday started to implement President Rodrigo Duterte’s order for police to go after “tambays” or loiterers through “Oplan Tambay” which was launched nationwide as part of the government’s bid to curb crime.
BPPO director Sr. Supt. Angeles Geñorga ordered all chiefs of police in the province to accost nighttime bystanders and loiterers and tell them to go back to their respective homes.
Geñorga said that the BPPO initially carried out an information campaign on the President’s new directive.
The Philippine National Police’s (PNP) nighttime patrols would also include the enforcement of already existing laws and ordinances such as the prohibition on drinking in unauthorized areas, smoking in public spaces, being shirtless and loitering of minors during curfew hours.
The PNP’s national command however has yet to provide clear guidelines on its campaign against public loitering.
Meanwhile, a few barangays in the province claimed to have already implemented an anti-loitering policy even prior to the issuance of Duterte’s new directive.
According to San Isidro, Tagbilaran City Barangay Captain Fausto Budlong, village authorities have been making rounds in their barangay to admonish bystanders and loiterers as part of efforts to maintain peace at night and in the wee hours.
For his part, Provincial Administrator Ae Damalerio expressed support for the national government’s initiative.
He however cautioned authorities that human rights of citizens should be upheld at all times in implementing the anti-loitering drive.
In Metro Manila, the President’s new campaign, like his previous nationwide anti-drug program “Oplang Tokhang,” was met with controversy and opposition with some calling it “anti-poor.”
The recent big blow to the campaign was the controversial arrest and death of Genesis “Tisoy” Agoncillo who allegedly died in a police detention center in Novaliches, Quezon City from multiple blunt force trauma on Tuesday.
Agonicillo’s family claimed that he was arrested as part of the anti-loitering campaign but police contradicted the family’s account.
Police officials said that the 25-year-old Agoncillo was arrested for alarm and scandal after being reported by concerned residents as drunk and causing trouble, not as part of the crackdown on bystanders.
Five police officers from the Novaliches Police Station in Quezon City have been relieved of their posts after the controversial death. Authorities meanwhile filed murder charges against two of Agoncillo’s fellow detainees in relation to his death.
In Tagbilaran City, where the anti-loitering drive was also launched, police chief Supt. Patricio Degay, Jr. assured the public that no similar incident will happen throughout the course of the campaign’s implementation.
“Alam naman natin dito sa Bohol, ang mga pulis dito buotan naman so talagang ‘di talaga mangyayari yang pambubogbog ng isang ma-detain na tao dito sa police station,” said Degay.
Aurhorities launched Oplan Tambay in Tagbilaran City on Thursday.
Police officers invited to the police station two men for questioning and rounded up six minors who were immediately turned over to their parents. (rt)