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Crime

Gay couple jailed in Philippines after being told they were ‘loitering’ outside friend’s apartment

Jasmine Andersson June 19, 2018

A gay couple in the Philippines have accused the police of targeting the LGBT+ community under the guise of detaining “loiterers” in the country.

After President Duterte announced that he wanted to remove “tamblays”, aka loiterers, from the streets of the Philippines, police forces in Manila are said to be taking his word as law and have started the process.

Ttam Nanaramid said he and his partner were caught in the crossfire when they were waiting for their friend outside of their apartment.

Duterte's government has killed thousands of the urban poor (Getty)
Duterte’s government has killed thousands of the urban poor (Getty)

After they were profiled as suspicious characters, the police arrested them without warning.

“So while we were texting whilst waiting, there were policemen coming towards us,” Nanaramid wrote in a Facebook post.

“My partner and I were not even paying attention… and the police approached us and told us to get in the police car because we could not ‘hang out’ there.”

 

Prisoners in the Philippines (Getty)
Prisoners in the Philippines (Getty)

They were bundled into the back of a police car, and said that they were “anxious” about entering the cell.

“We were quite anxious the moment they opened the cell. There were already people inside the cell and they were really horny and drunk. We’re all quite stressed out inside,” Nanaramid wrote.

Four hours later, Nanaramid and his partner were released.

“I do not even know what lesson learned in this story and I still don’t know what’s wrong with waiting outside a house,” he wrote.

Police in a crackdown (Getty)
Police in a crackdown (Getty)

“After that I do not feel safe and comfortable going anywhere and I am not sure if they have violated (our human rights).”

Concerns are rife regarding who the government and the police forces regard as “suspicious” characters in the tamblay crackdown.

Philippine National Police Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde on Monday said 2,981 bystanders have been arrested in Metro Manila from June 13 to June 18, reported CNN Philippines.

President Duterte said the measure intends to “crackdown on criminal behaviour” by arresting those stand idly or loiter in public spaces.

However, some are saying that they are being arrested on the basis of this viral directive from the President alone, without any legislation having come into place.

 

duterte getty
President Duterte (Getty)

This crackdown will be a course of concern for the lower economic tiers of the Filipino community.

As part of the “war on drugs” initiative, Human Rights Watch has documented 12,000 killings of Filipinos to date, mostly urban poor.

At least 2,555 of the killings have been attributed to the Philippine National Police, reported the organisation.

More: Asia, human rights, LGBT rights, Philippines, Philippines

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