Cops warn 56 ‘loafers’, round up 35 minors

BACOLOD City – Fifty-six persons were called out for loitering while 35 minors were rounded up and brought home in a series of operations conducted by the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) over the weekend.

Chief Inspector Sherlock Gabana, public information officer of Bacolod police, said in a report released on Monday that operatives warned the adults for drinking in prohibited places and being half-naked in public, and rescued the minors for violating curfew hours from July 6 to 8.

Policemen issued warnings to 42 persons for drinking in public places during five operations and to 14 persons without upper garments in four operations.

Thirty-five minors were rescued during 25 operations and turn over to their respective barangays or families.

39 persons were also fined for violating the anti-smoking ordinance, Gabana said.

Senior Supt. Francisco Ebreo, acting city police director, had earlier said policemen cannot arrest persons drinking in public places and those who do not have upper garments since there are no local ordinances against such kind of actions.

Policemen can only warn them, he said.

Ebrero added that the Bacolod police is lobbying with the City Council to pass an ordinance against drinking in public places in Bacolod.

“We are cautious. We cannot arrest anyone who loiters, but does not commit a violation,” he also said.

Ebreo said that even before President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s directive to apprehend loiterers, policemen in Bacolod have already been enforcing related local ordinances such as the curfew for minors and the smoking ban.

City Ordinance 331 provides special protection for children during nighttime by imposing the curfew for minors set from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. the following day.

Ebreo has proposed to increase the penalty and to include the parents or guardians who have responsibility for the minors. (PNA)

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