By Martin Sadongdong
It is now official, cops all over the country will have to avoid using the term “tambay” in their operations.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde today ordered his 190,000-strong men to avoid using the term “tambay” amid criticisms on the crackdown against violators of local ordinances.
“Pinagbawal na natin sa kanila ‘yung paggamit ng tambay na word. Sabi nga natin there is no violation because of tambay. Ito ay nahuli because they are violating city ordinances not because they are tambays (We already told them to stop using the word ‘tambay.’ Like what we have said, there is no violation because of [being a] tambay. They were arrested because they are violating city ordinances not because they are tambays),” Albayalde told reporters in a press conference at Camp Crame Monday afternoon.
Instead, Albayalde said cops must use the term ‘violators of city or local ordinances’ to clearly show that the ones getting arrested are lawbreakers.
With this, Albahaylde hopes that misconceptions on the intensified campaign against violators will already be cleared and allegations of human rights abuses will no longer be used against them.
“Wala na pong dapat ikatakot dahil nakita ng ating mga kababayan, zero tolerance tayo sa mga pang-aabuso ng iba kung talagang makita naman natin na ‘yung mga pulis natin ay may ginawang pang-aabuso. Kung natatakot sila na magsumbong sa local police, pumunta sila sa regional headquarters o dito sa national headquarters (There is nothing to worry about because the public have already seen, we have zero tolerance in the abuses being committed by our policemen. If they are afraid to report to the local police, they are welcome to go to the regional headquarters or here in the national headquarters),” he added.
Earlier, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) ordered his men to stop the use of word “tambay” in their operations.
Albayalde also revealed that the number of arrested local ordinance violators have already reached 11,000 although he did not clarify whether the number covers Metro Manila alone or the whole country. The intensified campaign started on June 13 after the order of President Duterte to rid the streets of tambays.
He said out of the 11,000, only 96 were actually jailed as of writing while the remaining ones were set free after they paid fines or community service.
Furthermore, Albayalde said the guidelines regarding the intensified implementation of city ordinances were already released although they have yet to provide a copy to the media.
He said the guideline on the crackdown against violators of local ordinances was anchored on their Police Operational Procedure included in the revised PNP Manual which was released in December 2013. He said among the provisions in the guidelines is the “paramount” consideration to rights of arrested persons and the rule of law.
Aside from the guideline, he said the commanders on the ground will have to supervise their own personnel to avoid wrongful arrests and mistakes in the crackdown on local ordinance violators.