Thursday, July 26, 2018

No Loitering

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (right) is back in the world news again!

Famous for his bloody war on drugs and his manic obsession with social order – he decided on the spur of the moment to launch a tirade against loitering on June 13, 2018. 

In one of his trademark rambling speeches, he declared that fellow citizens who are hanging out in the streets should be ordered home, and if they refused, he would personally tie their hands and drop them into a river. 

Obedient Manila police took that as a presidential directive and they began to enforce it with zestful zealousness that according to Reuters, some 59,000 people have since been apprehended.

The Philippine Star said over 11,000 individuals have been rounded up in Metro Manila alone since the police clampdown. Image credit: 

Image credit: Manny Llanes/Manila Bulletin, Philippines

The crackdown has been condemned by activists, legal groups and opposition lawmakers, who say it has no legal basis. 

Besides, vagrancy had already been decriminalised since 2012. 

Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called on the Philippine National Police to immediately cease their controversial campaign against loiterers, which is perceived to target mainly the poor. 

HRW stressed that the authorities have focused the anti-loitering campaign in the same communities that have been targeted by the government’s war on drugs. 

Antonio Tinio, an opposition Congressman denounced it too: “This is all about imposing control on the poor, by using force or the threat of force to intimidate them. What for? The intention is to keep them from resisting, from fighting back”. 

But Duterte being Duterte was unmoved, insisting the anti-loitering crackdown is a “crime prevention campaign”. 

Anyway, amid mounting criticisms of the intensified “anti-crime” efforts, Duterte last Friday said that he ordered cops only to accost, not arrest, loiterers. 

Still, the Philippine President is known to get his way – and he is unlikely to suffer any backlash. 

In fact, his public support ratings, built on the back of his reputation as a no-nonsense disciplinarian who gets things done, remain high.

In their second International Champions Cup outing at the MetLife Stadium, home of New York’s NFL teams the Giants and the Jets in New Jersey, USA  Liverpool faced an under-strength Manchester City side and a poor pitch* that made passing quickly and decisively a challenge – and indeed, the Reds struggled to find fluency and fluidity as an attacking force as a result. 

(*Somebody had described it as a farmer's field!)

This time around, Liverpool’s fifth pre-season match gave them a 2-1 victory as Jurgen Klopp‘s side came from behind to win.

But of course, the two goals came from none other than Mo Salah (62) and Sadio Mane (90, penalty). 

It was also good to know that the young ‘uns Nathaniel Philips, Curtis Jones, Rafa Camacho, Ben Woodburn, Marko Grujić, Pedro Chirivella and Caoimhin Kelleher showed they can be just as good as the seniors.

The result is of secondary concern, of course, but it’s good to have a positive outcome nonetheless. 

Liverpool meet Manchester United in Michigan two days later.

No comments: