Senator Bam Aquino has filed a resolution seeking to investigate the government’s policy against loitering and the death of Genesis “Tisoy” Argoncillo, who died in the custody of the Quezon City Police District four days after he was arrested for alleged alarm and scandal.
“Maraming mga detalye na hindi tumutugma, pero ang malinaw sa akin, hindi dapat namatay si Tisoy,” said Sen. Bam, who filed Senate Resolution No. 772.
“Hindi sya mamamatay kung hindi pinatupad ang isang polisiya na nakatarget ang mahihirap,” added Sen. Bam.
In his resolution, Sen. Bam called the campaign against loitering as untenable, discriminatory and anti-poor as he urged the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, headed by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, to investigate the matter to protect ordinary Filipinos from unjust, discriminatory and abusive policies and practices.
“There is a need to assess whether the PNP’s anti-tambay campaign, as well as the local ordinances on which they are supposedly based, are consistent with national laws and the Constitution,” said Sen. Bam.
Sen. Bam filed the resolution days after Argoncillo died in the custody of the Quezon City Police District. Argoncillo was arrested on June 15 for allegedly causing alarm and scandal, but died four days later.
The PNP issued different statements regarding Argoncillo’s death. First, it claimed that it was due to self-inflicted trauma then changed it to suffocation due to the severe congestion of prison cells.
After Argoncillo’s death certificate revealed that he died from multiple blunt force trauma to his neck, head, chest and upper extremities, the QCPD claimed that he died after he was mauled by fellow inmates.
“Pumunta lang sa tindahan, inaresto dahil hindi naka-tshirt. Ngayon, nakaburol na. Napakasakit nito para sa pamilya ng biktima at sa ating bansa. Nakakabahala ang paiba-ibang deklarasyon ng pulis sa dahilan ng pagkamatay ni Tisoy,” said Sen. Bam.
Several citizens also claimed that they were arrested while waiting outside the gate of a friend’s house in Makati City. They were detained for one hour and were shown a video of President Duterte’s pronouncement against “tambays” as basis for their detention.
On June 17, 2018, a social media post showed CCTV footage of a shirtless man who was accosted in front of his house by roving police seconds after he stepped out of the door in Novaliches, Quezon City. The man, Ariel Morco, was not arrested but was ordered to clean the bathroom of the police station.
“Halos lahat ng mga naaresto ay mga mahirap at ang mga operasyon ay ginagawa sa mahihirap na komunidad. Tama na po ang pagpapahirap sa mga mahihirap,” Sen. Bam stressed.