Duterte wants arrest for loiterers, people who drink in public

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte wants police to "pick up" those who loiter in the streets at night and arrest persons drinking in public places.

He said this during a speech on Monday, September 18, in front of a gathering of public attorneys in Taguig.

"Sabi ko, 'Pag mag-inuman in public place, arestuhin mo.' (I said, 'If someone drinks in a public space, arrest them.') You're not supposed to be drinking using the streets and alleys," he said.

"Hulihin mo at ikulong ninyo. Tutal may PAO naman bukas magpa-release, eh di sige (Arrest them and detain them. Anyway, there's a PAO [Public Attorney's Office] who will release them the next day, then okay)," he added, eliciting laughter from his audience.

The President also doesn't want to see "tambay" (loiterers) in the streets, especially at night, since they may be up to no good.

"Tignan 'nyo may maglakad pa ba na – eh ngayon, sabi ko sa pulis, 'Pikapin mo.' (See if there's anyone walking around – now, I told the police, 'Pick them up.') I do not want anybody standing there, mag-tambay (loitering)," said Duterte.

While there will be cases in which the loiterers are not planning to commit crime, Duterte said it's best to make sure in order to protect citizens.

"I'm expecting some aren't about to sin and it's just a matter of loitering around but the people are scared, scared to walk the streets," he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Likely "victims," he said, are salesgirls who have to walk home late at night from work.

Back when he was Davao City Mayor, Duterte implemented the city's liquor ban, prohibiting drinking of liquor in public places like streets, plazas, parking areas, parks, and uninhabited places. The ordinance also prohibits business establishments from selling or serving alcoholic beverages from 1 am to 8 am.

Violators are only fined for the first offense but could face imprisonment for the second and third offenses. – Rappler.com 

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.