Duterte: Anti-'tambay' drive stays unless SC says to stop

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The President made it clear again that minors must not loiter in the streets "for their own protection." (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 26) — Unless the Supreme Court says otherwise, President Rodrigo Duterte said there will be no let up on operations ridding the streets of tambays.

The President made the declaration at an event in Cagayan de Oro Monday, where he presided over the oath-taking of newly-elected barangay officials.

"That to me is legal, until the Supreme Court says it is illegal. Until the Supreme Court says they cannot do it. I am now invoking the police power of the state to establish order, safety [and] that is not subject to a legislation," he said.

The President made it clear again that minors must not loiter in the streets "for their own protection."

"So, 18. Wala tayong specific...18. Below 18, you arrest the teenagers there around loitering, because we have to protect our children," he said.

He added, "You take them into custody not to arrest them, but for their own safety, to protect them. We are removing the minors, take them into custody, tawagin mo yang DSW(D) diyan, pati yung barangay. You take care...sabi ni Mayor, paarestuhin 'yan for their own protection. They are not being arrested for any crime, it's for their own good that they are arrested.

The President again mentioned 'parens patriae,' which he said allows the government to take minors into custody to protect them.

On Monday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is ready to face any possible probe by Congress on their policy of cracking down on tambays'

READ: PNP ready to face probe over crackdown over 'tambays'

He said, "We are open to investigations, at siguro wala namang masama diyan [there would be nothing wrong] if they will investigate also. We will be ready...at ipapalabas naman natin yan na ito [and we will show], we have statistics and we have records, and we will show everything sa kanila kung talagang gusto nilang makita [to them if they really want to see it]."

He added 11,000 individuals have been arrested for violating various local ordinances since June 13.

However, of that number, only 96 — less than a percent — are still under police custody as of press time. Most of those arrested were sent home after finding out no violations were committed.