PNP: Arrest of loiterers based on local law; no human rights violated

PNP chief PDG. Oscar Albayalde

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will release this week guidelines in arresting loiterers who violate city ordinances.

The PNP explained that the guidelines would help iron out its decision to push through with arresting night-time idlers.

PNP chief PDG. Oscar Albayalde noted that the police want to avoid violating the rights of the public.

Albayalde clarified that authorities only arrest individuals who violate ordinances such as smoking and drinking in public; going around shirtless in the streets; catcalling and urinating in public places.

He said that these violations are the usual cause of turmoil and crime in the streets.

“Madalas yan lalo na yung mga naka standby umiinom sa kalsada pag may dumaan kinukursunada nagiging sanhi ng away.  Kung minsan naman binabastos yung babae na dumadaan so yun ang iniiwasan natin. So this is for the safety of everybody,” said the PNP chief.

(Oftentimes, when people who drink on sidewalks get intoxicated, they would pick on random pedestrians or harass passing ladies and end up causing a fight. That’s what we are trying to avoid. So this is for the safety of everybody.)

Since Thursday, almost 3,000 loiterers have already been arrested.

Albayalde also called on the public to report complaints against cops to the nearest police station.

Presidential  Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said that loiterers can also file complaints should they experience harassment from police.

“Institutionalized na po yan. Nandiyan ang bill of rights, kung talagang walang basehan yan. Nandiyan naman po ang ating mga hukuman,” said Roque.

(That’s institutionalized. There is a bill of rights. If the case has no basis, there is the court to judge.)

For some lawmakers, arresting nighttime idlers is not a solution. They urge the government to help improve the lives of loiterers instead by giving them jobs or livelihood.

“Nararapat lang din na ang ating gobyerno ay mag-isip at magsikap doon sa mga pamamaraan, mga proyekto na kung paano ba natin masosolusyunan itong pagkarami-raming mga tambay,” said Kabataan party-list representative Sarah Elago.

(The government should exert effort in finding ways of creating projects that will address this problem with loiterers.)

“Common sense na ang isang napakaraming populasyon na walang trabaho na tumataas na presyo ay magbubunga ng maliit na mga krimen,” said Caloocan Rep. Egay Erice.

(It’s common sense that high unemployment rate leads to rise in petty crimes. ) — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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