Senator Win Gatchalian over the weekend urged the Philippine National Police to change its ‘anti-tambay’ operation into an ‘anti-pasaway’ campaign to address concerns that it would target innocent bystanders on the street who were not violating the law.
“Dapat nga lang malinaw natin kung ano ang intention ng mga pulis sa operasyon na ito. Kaya nga ho ang kanilang campaign na ‘anti-tambay’ ay very confusing dahil hindi naman ho pwede na porket nakatayo ka lang sa kalye ay huhulihin ka na at dadalhin sa presinto. Ang dapat hulihin dito ay ‘yung mga pasaway na umiinom, nagsusugal sa kalsada,” he said at the Balitaan sa Maynila media forum on Sunday.
Gatchalian, a former three-term mayor of Valenzuela City, also urged local government officials, especially the newly-elected barangay officers, to take action against unruly behavior in their communities by passing and enforcing local ordinances against public drunkenness, street gambling, and other activities that endanger public safety and welfare.
“These are very local activities, kaya hamon natin ito sa mga bagong barangay officials na ipatupad nila ang kanilang mandato. Wag na ho nilang antayin ang ating pangulo na sabihin kung ano ang dapat nilang gawin dahil nasa kapangyahiran na nila na gumawa ng mga ordinasa para sa kaayusan ng kanilang barangay,” he said.
Regarding concerns that the anti-pasaway campaign would push crowded local jails even further past their capacity limits, the senator said it would be best to impose alternative penalties that would not require jail time.
Based on his experience in local government, he said that the penalties imposed for minor crimes like these were usually just warnings, fines, or community service activities such as street cleaning.