Binag: Patrollers to use ‘yantok’ as cheaper alternative to cops’ batons
MANILA, Philippines — Patrollers designated around Metro Manila will use the “yantok” (rattan sticks) to enforce social distancing protocols since these are cheaper and there is a lack of supply for batons, according to Joint Task Force COVID-19 chief Lt. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne Binag on Wednesday.
In an interview over ANC’s “Headstart,” Binag said that this is their alternative to the use of truncheon or baton, which is part of their police operational procedure.
“Actually sa aming police operational procedure, truncheon ito o baton [ang gamit], at dahil nga sa kakulangan ng supply namin, so available yung yantok, mura at meron siyang isang metro na distansya, kaya ito ang naisipan natin na magamit,” Binag explained.
(Actually in our police operational procedure, we use truncheon or baton. But because of the lack of supply, we use yantok because it’s cheap and it measures one meter for social distancing, that is why we thought of using it.)
Last week, Binag said that patrollers will use rattan sticks on those who stubbornly refuse to follow COVID-19 health protocols, especially those who will violate social distancing measures.
But Philippine National Police chief Gen. Debold Sinas later clarified that the yantok will not be used by patrollers to hit violators of health protocols.
Even Malacañang said that it does not agree with the plan to use yantok to hit quarantine violators.
The Commission on Human Rights said that law enforcers should not use force while enforcing health protocols as these could lead to humiliation and trauma to the public.
In the same ANC interview, Binag later clarified that patrollers will only use the yantok to overcome violators who resist arrest.
“Bilang police, tungkulin namin sa kanila na dalhin sa batas kung sakaling nag-violate, hindi lang COVID protocol, kundi sa ibang krimen, kailangan namin i-overcome yung resistance ng aming aarestuhin,” Binag said.
(Being a policeman, it’s our duty to bring to justice those who violated the law, not just COVID protocol, but other crimes, we need to overcome those who resist arrest.)
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