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Duterte tells PNP to continue crackdown vs ‘tambays:’ It’s legal until SC says I can’t do it

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President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the police to continue its crackdown against “tambays” or people who loiter in the streets despite criticism about the alleged human rights violations that happen when they are arrested.

In a speech in Cagayan de Oro City Monday (June 25), Duterte said he has the power to create rules to protect public order and safety.

“Until the Supreme Court says that I cannot do it, I am now invoking the police power of the state to establish order, safety, yan. That is not subject to a legislation,” he said.

As President, Duterte said he can order anyone– from the mayor to the barangay chief– to issue regulations for the public’s safety.

“We call them istambay. That’s the word. That is my order. And you continue to frisk people who are there, yung nandoon sa daanan. and that is legal until such time… That is my order,” he said.

Duterte told the police not to mind the critics of the crackdown against loiterers.

“Do not believe in the criticisms. Do not read it. None of your business to be reading what they’re talking about. It’s our business to follow what we are ordered to do,” he said.

According to the PNP, more than 11,000 individuals have been arrested since June 13 after Duterte ordered them to intensify the crackdown against “tambays.”

Police officials, however, said the violators were arrested not for loitering, but for breaking local ordinances such as going out shirtless and drinking in public.

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