News Release

Palace: Anti-tambay drive a crime prevention measure; assures gov’t won’t tolerate police excesses

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr. said Thursday, June 21, that the directive to go after ‘tambays’ is part of the Duterte administration’s crime prevention measure.

“Kinakailangan po kasi na maparating ang mensahe na nasa komunidad at gumagala gala ang mga kapulisan para ‘yung mga kriminal ma-deter po na gumawa ng krimen,” Roque said, adding that this is in line with the President’s role as chief implementor of the law to increase police visibility and to enforce strictly existing ordinances.

Secretary Roque likewise assured during the Palace press briefing that concerned individuals can always file charges against members of the police and said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) won’t turn a blind eye on these cases.

“Hayaan naman po natin ang liderato na magdisiplina ng kanilang hanay. Kung talagang napatunayan po na walang dahilan na mangyari ito, I am sure the proper charges will be filed against the policemen and that they will be fired from the service,” Roque stressed.

The Palace official also pointed out that it would be physically impossible for jails in the metro to accommodate 7,000 vagrants in a day since these jails are already jam-packed, contrary to earlier claims that 7,000 tambays were previously arrested.

“I dispute if 7,000 people were actually arrested. We don’t have the space for that given that mayroon na nga tayong overcrowding sa mga jail facilities natin,” Roque explained.

He then argued that a large chunk of the 7,000 could have actually been apprehended rather than arrested.

“Ang nangyari po siguro diyan ay nasita no less than 7,000. Kasi po talaga physically may problema na po tayo sa mga kulungan ngayon, hindi na magkasya,” he said.

“Linawin po natin ang ating mga pigura. Tingin ko ‘yan ang mga na-apprehend pero hindi naman ibig sabihin na-aresto,” he added.

The Palace official also said that police won’t arrest these vagrants had they not committed any city or barangay ordinances such as breach of drinking alcoholic drinks in public, breach of curfew for minors, among others.

“Ibig sabihin hindi sila inaresto dahil sa tambay sila, inaresto sila dahil may nilabag silang batas o ordinances,” the official said.

‘Palace confirms suspension of backchannel talks with CPP-NDF’

In the same press briefing, the Palace official confirmed the government’s three-month suspension of any backchannel talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

“Gagamitin din natin ang panahong ito – ang tatlong buwan — upang konsultahin ang mga ahensiya ng pamahalaan at taong-bayan ukol negosasyon at mga isyung napapaloob dito,” Roque said.

The three-month hiatus, Roque said, is to ensure that any backlogs or agreements the CPP had made with former administrations that came before Duterte be addressed and reviewed to determine if these are binding and valid to the state.

Roque said: “[I]ba-iba ang thrusts ng iba’t ibang administrasyon. At ‘yan lang ang gustong malinaw ng Presidente na sang-ayon siya sa lahat ng mga pinasok na kasunduan ng kanyang mga predecessors.” ### PCO-Content