By SHERWIN DE VERA
VIGAN CITY — Police forces in Ilocos Sur wasted no time responding to the directive of President Duterte to round up loiterers (istambay), coming up with “Oplan Rody” or Rid the streets Of Drunkards and Youth. Officers from the different municipal police office took to the streets and social media to show their support and implementation of the order.
On June 13, the president gave the directive, saying ‘istambays’ are possible sources of trouble. In the National Capital Region, the Philippine National Police arrested 7,291 individuals in connection to the directive as of June 20.
Administrator of the Provincial Police Office Facebook account posted a warning for “mga istambay tuwing dis oras ng gabi” regarding the strict implementation of Oplan Rody.
“Bawal ang pagala-gala nang nakainom at nagiinuman sa kalye; curfew sa mga menor de edad mula 10:00 ng gabi hanggang 4:00 ng madalaing araw; istambay na wala namang magandang dahilan at mga nagmomotor na pagalagala sa dis-oras ng gabi,” were among those identified in the post as acts meriting notice from the PNP and possible arrest.
When caught violating Oplan Rody, the PNP will invite the offenders to their office, reprimand them and get their names. Parents of minors caught roaming the streets during curfew hours will be asked to fetch their kids in the precinct while drunkards will be held “for safe keeping.”
The nightly operation means to warn bystanders in “national roads and dimly lit public places,” police also advised residents “not to stay or drink (alcoholic beverages) outside during the late hours”, states Sta. Cruz Municipal Police Office in Facebook.
In San Vicente, municipal police explained on social media that they are merely implementing a municipal curfew from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am “to lessen criminality and trouble makers.”
Beside the two stations, police offices in Candon, Bantay, Sugpon, Alilem, Salcedo, San Esteban, Lidlidda and Santa also shared the warning and posted pictures while undertaking Oplan Rody.
Meanwhile, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said Duterte’s order to authorities to go after loiterers (tambay) “serves as a blanket warrant for everyone” in a statement sent on June 21.
“Duterte has once again outrightly disregarded even reactionary laws, considering that vagrancy has already been decriminalized in 2012,” the statement said.
CPP views the new campaign of the administration as a “rehearsal for the nationwide implementation of martial law”, calling it “patently anti- poor as it not only violates the rights of the downtrodden.” # nordis.net