PNP to strictly enforce campaign vs bystanders

By Aaron B. Recuenco

Director General Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippine National Police, said yesterday that they will fully observe human rights and strictly enforce the campaign on bystanders ordered by President Duterte.

Albayalde said police commanders down to the lowest ranking uniformed personnel are equipped with knowledge on basic police operational procedures and have attended seminars and awareness trainings on human rights laws.

“Our policemen are covered by laws, they know our police operational procedures, and they know that respect for human rights is always paramount,” said Albayalde.

Policemen, he said, are aware of negative implications if defy the existing laws and procedures, with the discipline and internal cleansing focus of the new PNP leadership.

Concerns of police abuses have been raised up as the PNP focuses on “tambays” or bystanders or loiterers who are usually being accused of being troublemakers in communities.

Bystander is a form of socialization, especially for the youth, in a community. But it gained a derogatory meaning over the years to mean jobless, out-of-school youths, and troublemakers.

Albayalde said there have been numerous instances in the past in which bystanders would hurt and even kill passersby who would refuse their offer for a drink.

A group of drug-crazed bystanders would also just hurt or kill any person for no apparent reason and would engage in various criminal activities such as robbery.

“We have been doing this – shooing away and even apprehending tambays – for a long time now under ‘Oplan: Rody,’” said Albayalde of the project during =his time as head of the National Capital Region Police Office.’
Oplan: Rody, based on the nickname of President Duterte, means “Rid the Streets of Drinkers and Youth.”