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DON’T ‘HIT PEOPLE’

Palace thumbs down using sticks for discipline

/ 04:45 AM December 08, 2020

MANILA, Philippines— Malacañang does not agree with the police plan to hit violators of the physical distancing rule with “yantok” or rattan sticks.

The sticks, considered a weapon in Philippine martial arts, would be provided to police to enforce physical distancing among crowds.

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Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the law does not allow physical distancing patrols to hit people.

“That cannot be used to hit people because that is not allowed under our laws and the regulations of the [Philippine National Police],” he said.

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“It could be used to measure social distancing, to make sure there is a 1-meter distance, but that is not for hitting people,” Roque said.

‘Humiliation and trauma’

Lt. Gen. Cesar Binag, Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander, said last week the rattan sticks would be used to enforce discipline and hit “hardheaded” passersby who do not observe quarantine regulations.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) expressed concern over this, saying it may lead to the public’s “humiliation and trauma.”

With a report from Tina G. Santos

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TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, law enforcers' sticks, rattan sticks, yantok
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