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Duterte blasts critics of anti-tambay order

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday slammed critics of his intensified campaign against "tambays" or nighttime idlers in the streets.

Speaking at the 81st anniversary of the Government Service Insurance System in Pasay City, Duterte told human rights advocates not to interfere with his policy.

"Itong human rights do not tell me what to do. Sabi ko 'yung mga istambay paalisin 'yan dyan para ang tao maglakad sa gabi wala nang... ayaw ko," he said, adding he used to go around Davao City on a taxi, where he ruled for 23 years before he became president in 2016, to see the situation for himself. 

Concerns about potential abuse in the course of the campaign came to the fore after policemen briefly detained a group of friends for simply waiting outside another friend's home in Makati City over the weekend, days after Duterte made the pronouncement against tambays on June 13.

Some senators also said the President's order had no legal basis because the law against vagrancy has been repealed.  

Malacañang, however, said any citizen can seek legal redress against policemen "who will act in excess of authority."

The government also doused speculation that the order to go after loiterers will lead to a nationwide implementation of martial law.

Police have arrested 5,575 individuals in Metro Manila alone from June 13 to June 18.

Individuals were arrested for violating curfew ordinances, for drinking in public places or streets, for being half-naked in the streets, and for smoking in public, according to the Philippine National Police.

Also apprehended were illegal vendors, videoke curfew violators, litterers, illegal barkers as well as those who violated the traffic code.

Other individuals who were arrested include those who violated the the prohibition on students entering internet shops, those who urinated in a public place, and those who disrupted peace and public order. —JST, GMA News