TACLOBAN CITY-More than 480 individuals from this city have been ‘accosted’ by personnel of the Tacloban city police station since they started to implement the campaign against ‘istambay’ or loiterers.
And this campaign is proving to be successful as no crimes have been reported since it was started, said Chief Inspector Rex Cantillep, information officer of the city police station.
According to Cantillep, who is also the deputy chief of the operations division of the Tacloban City Police Office, about 486 individuals have so far been accosted relative to the campaign.
He said that the 486 people which they have approached covers from the period of June 13 until June 20.
And of this figure, 250 of them were children or minors.
“We are not taking into anyone into custody because doing so would mean arrest. We respect human rights and we give importance to it,” he said.
City Councilor Jerry Uy, meantime, said that while he is supportive on this campaign, he asks members of the city police to observe caution in carrying out the campaign.
‘Loitering has been decriminalized already. And while this could deter in the commission of a crime, this should be carried out by following the proper procedure,” Uy said.
The councilor, who is a lawyer by profession, said that if the police would detain these street loiterers, they might be accused of arbitrary detention.
Cantillep said that when they are doing their campaign, they just asked these people to go home and if minors are involved, they escorted them to their respective houses and remind their parents of their obligations.
He added that they are being joined by personnel of the City Social Welfare and Development Office during this particular campaign to ensure that minors would be protected.
Cantillep said that since they have started the campaign, they have noted a decline of street crimes.
He, however, did not provide data to support on his claim.
“We have a zero crime incidence in the city since we started this campaign,” he said.
This campaign has been hit by some sectors saying this is another human rights violation being enforced by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

By: Joey A. Gabieta