By Calvin D. Cordova
Cebu City — The police in Central Visayas is all set to launch a campaign to clear the streets of tambays or vagrants at night.
Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, regional police chief, said Monday his office is finalizing the directive listing the guidelines for the campaign.
“We will have a command conference tomorrow (Tuesday) to harmonize our policy. We will check the existing ordinances of the localities to give more teeth to our operations. We are aware that there are ordinances against vagrancy so we will check that to harmonize everything,” said Sinas.
He assured there are enough officers to conduct round-the-clock operations.
“This is not just the job of the police. We will coordinate with barangay officials and the Department of Social Welfare and Development,” said Sinas.
He said a person caught loitering in the street will not be arrested automatically.
“The police will be going to ask why you’re out on the streets especially if you are spotted in a dark area. Those drinking along the road will be reprimanded and the police may conduct inspection if they chance upon suspicious-looking persons,” Sinas said.
Senior Supt. Joel Doria, chief of the Cebu City police, said the police will be conducting an information drive and coordinating with barangay officials for the use of their sports complex where apprehended persons will be brought.
“We will be issuing warnings in the first few days of the operations then after that, we will be making arrests already. We are still awaiting the directive from the PRO-7 but rest assured, we will intensify our Oplan Tambay campaign,” Doria said.
In his visit to Cebu last Friday, PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde dismissed fears that the police will undermining human rights in rounding up istambays.
“We respect their rights but others also have the rights to live peacefully. We are doing this ensure peace and order in the communities,” Albayalde said.