MANILA -- An administration lawmaker on Tuesday proposed to deputize barangay tanods (village watchmen) instead of policemen in implementing the government's drive against "tambays" (loiterers).
In a statement, Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo said barangay watchmen perform almost the same function in enforcing peace and order as that of policemen except that they are armed with sticks instead of guns.
Why not? A barangay tanod is well trained to deal against vagrancy and he fully knows the terrain of the community as well as its people. He can probably do the job right, Castelo said.
The lawmaker made the proposal amid criticism that police operations against loiterers resulted in abuses.
Public reaction to Oplan Tambay could be less critical if it would be enforced by authorities that are less prone to commit abuse, Castelo said.
MalacaAang on Monday said it would welcome any congressional investigation on the government's anti-tambay campaign.
There were resolutions filed in both chambers of Congress calling for an inquiry into the anti-loitering operations.
We always welcome any congressional inquiry. We are not hiding anything, Roque, a former lawmaker, said.
He clarified that the President has no order to arrest loiterers, who do not violate the law and local ordinances.
"The President has clarified one thing I've been explaining ever since. I'm consistent that only those who violate the ordinances and the laws will be arrested," Roque said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency