Malacañang on Friday downplayed fears of lawmakers that President Rodrigo Duterte’s warning against “tambays” was reminiscent of the situation during martial law.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte only wanted a strict enforcement of laws to prevent crime.
“Every Filipino deserves to be safe in the streets,” he said in a statement,
“The President’s ‘tambay’ remarks simply mean he wants a strict enforcement of city ordinances as part of making our streets safe from criminals and other unscrupulous elements,” he added.
In a speech on Wednesday, Duterte directed authorities to be strict with tambays, saying they are “potential trouble for the public.”
The President told the police to bring to his office in Malacañang those who will refuse to heed the police and would remain loitering in the streets, even at night time.
“If you don’t go home, I would bring you to the office of—Pasig. I’ll take care of it. Just leave it there. Tie the hands—I would throw it there,” he said.
Some raised concerns over what they said seemed to be a threat but Roque allayed their fears, saying Duterte’s remarks was just meant for “crime prevention.”
“It is more of crime prevention; hence, the President’s remarks are for the police to ask those who stay late at night in the streets to go home,” he said.
“Now, should they be arrested if they refuse? The President as a lawyer knows that if no crime has been committed, there is no basis for arrest. But just the same, he would rather that those loitering should go home so that those people with bad intentions are thwarted,” he added. /jpv
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