Crackdown on loiterers ‘anti-poor’
VP Leni urges help from community leaders, lawyers amid recent ‘tambay arrests’
Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday called on community leaders and lawyers to help ensure that human rights—especially those of the poor—are respected, amid the administration’s recent “tambay” crackdown.
The Vice President, a public interest lawyer, tagged the controversial campaign as “anti-poor,” after the police rounded up thousands of loiterers—apparently abiding by the President’s order to be strict with “tambays,” as they pose “potential trouble to the public.”
VP Leni urged citizens to be vigilant against the crackdown, and be informed about their rights, in order to prevent abuses similar to those committed under the war against drugs.
In particular, she asked community leaders and lawyers to step up in this initiative.
“Nananawagan tayo na alamin kung ano iyong mga dapat gawin kapag mayroong danger na magiging biktima tayo—hindi lang iyong mga ordinaryong mamamayan, pero lalong lalo na iyong mga community leaders. Paano sila makakatulong? Iyong mga abogado, pinapakiusapan natin na maggrupo na, para magtulong-tulong sa pagsugpo nito,” she said in her weekly radio show, BISErbisyong LENI, on RMN-DZXL 558.
“Ayaw na nating maulit uli iyong lahat na mga karahasan na nangyari noong kasagsagan nga ng anti-drug war,” she added. “Iyong bangungoy na pinagdaanan natin noon, huwag na nating hayaan maulit muli… Kasi lalong hindi tayo nakikialam, lalong maraming mga karahasan na mangyayari.”
VP Leni noted anew that vagrancy has been decriminalized, and the order against loiterers, in effect, sets aside the legislative act on the matter.
“Para kasing binibigyan ng lisensya iyong mga law enforcement na opisyal na mang-abuso. Nakita na natin itong danger nito noong kasagsagan ng anti-drug war. Inuulit na naman natin ngayon,” she said.
She added: “Hindi nakakatulong iyong paiba-ibang statement kasi lalong nagbibigay ng kalituhan.”