The constitution prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention and provides for the right of persons to challenge the lawfulness of their arrest or detention in court, and the government generally observed these requirements. As of September, the CHR reported 75 arbitrary detention violations committed by law enforcement agencies or the AFP. Investigations into 74 of these cases were pending, while the remaining case was dismissed. One case involved a high-ranking official.

There was the high-profile case of Tisoy Argoncillo. Last 4 July 2018, Authorities filed murder complaints against six more suspects in the killing of Genesis “Tisoy” Argoncillo, a detainee who died while in police custody. Witnesses said Argoncillo was arrested on Friday for being shirtless in front of a store in Barangay Sauyo. But police denied allegations that Argoncillo was arrested due to the implementation of city ordinances or the anti-tambay operations, saying that he was nabbed due to “alarm and scandal.

Media reports point to a staggering number of individuals arrested as a result of the policy against tambays (bystanders) by the Duterte Administration. Of the 108,261 arrested since President Duterte gave the order on June 13 until July 17, 18,846 were apprehended for drinking in public, 26,458 for violating the smoking ban in public places, 13,486 for going on the streets without upper clothing, 28,370 were minors who were caught violating curfew hours in their areas while the 21,101 were arrests for violating other ordinances such as getting involved in trouble, riot or gang wars and “stoning” or throwing stones usually targeting passing motorists.

The state crackdown on tambays was nationwide in character. The total number of persons apprehended for violating local city ordinances, 52,358 were from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO). The three regions which have the most number of arrests were Region VII Central Visayas with 15,089 arrested persons, Region IV-B Mimaropa with 10,394 and Central Luzon with 9,024 apprehensions.


There was some improvement in the protocol for those who were arrested by the PNP. Presenting arrested suspects to the media in “firing squad” manner will no longer be allowed as such a practice is considered a violation of their constitutional rights to due process and presumption of innocence. Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said the prohibition is contained in the National Police Commission Memorandum Circular 2007-01. Suspects presented to the media were usually in orange shirts with the word “detainee” printed on the back. “It also subjects them to unwanted publicity that could besmirch their name and reputation, including that of their family,” according to the aforementioned memorandum.