President Rodrigo Duterte’s “anti-tambay” order will not lead to a declaration of nationwide martial law, Malacañang assured on Tuesday, June 19.
At a press briefing in Cotabato City, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said, “the president’s statement [was] very clear that ‘martial law in the entire Philippines [would] become very complicated.’”
Roque also added that “He has absolutely no intentions right now unless there would be reasons to do so.”
The assurance was made due to concerns about the president’s directive to round up loiterers and potential troublemakers in the streets being a prelude to martial law.
Earlier, National Capital Region Police Office director Chief Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar reported that a total of 5,575 “tambays” were arrested from 5 a.m. of Wednesday, June 13 to 5 a.m. of Friday, June 18 — most of them by the Eastern Police District with 1,805.
These individuals, according to Eleazar, violated local ordinances such as curfew, drinking in public places or streets, being half-naked in the streets, and smoking in public.
The directive against “tambays” was issued by Duterte on Wednesday evening last week.
It was met with criticism, however, pointing out that it might be used to justify illegal detention and arrests.
Akbayan party-list Representative Tom Villarin said that it was “martial law redux.