A gay man is sharing how he, his boyfriend, and his friends were arrested for “loitering.”
Ttam Nanaramid recently posted to Facebook the story of how a new Presidential order led to the arrest of him and his friends.
On Saturday, June 16, he, his partner, and his friends were waiting outside another friend’s apartment for her to come out and join them for a bar crawl.
As he wrote on Facebook:
“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.”
Nanariamid and his friends complied willingly and were taken to the Guadalupe Nuevo Station 7 in Metro Manila. There, they were thrown into a jail 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.”
"When they asked why they had been put in jail, one of the police officers responded, “Don’t; you wat TV?”
Earlier this month, Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, had announced a new war on loiterers or “tambays.” Since that June 13th announcement, more than 3,000 people have been detained. This is despite the fact that loitering is not officially against the law.
As for Nanaramid’s group, they were eventually let go around 2 or 3 am, but their names and contact info were recorded for future reference.
As Nanaramid wrote:
“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.”
“After that I do not feel safe and comfortable going anywhere and I am not sure if they have violated (our human rights).”
In addition, he questioned how this vague and unofficial law is even being followed.
“If they see you drinking soda outside the store, is that it? If they see you sitting in the gutter of the road because you’re heavy, do you think it’s a hangout? If they find you waiting in the waiting car waiting for the car, is that it? What is the true and clear meaning and measurement of tambay?”