MMDA traffic constables to get batons for self-defense
Don’t be surprised if traffic enforcers in Metro Manila start brandishing “batuta.”
Constables of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) have been given batons for use only for self-defense against hot-headed traffic violators.
On Monday, the agency received a donation of 200 batons from businessman Jaime Dichaves for the protection of its enforcers, said Jojo Garcia, MMDA acting general manager.
Last week, an irate woman struck an MMDA enforcer in Quezon City with her motorcycle helmet after she and her companion were flagged down for not wearing her headgear. The incident was caught on video.
The traffic enforcer was one of several MMDA personnel to be attacked by motorists whom they had apprehended for traffic violations.
Last year, MMDA enforcer Richard Morales was mauled by a bus driver and his conductor after he flagged down the bus for violating the agency’s closed-door policy in Pasay City.
In 2011, another enforcer, Larry Fiala, ended up in the hospital after he was shot by a motorist in Mandaluyong City who had been cited for a violation.
The incidents have prompted the MMDA in the past to consider arming its men with either guns or bolos.
Both proposals, however, fell through following criticisms and concern that arming them could lead to abuse of power.
Garcia, however, assured the public that the agency’s baton-wielding enforcers would first undergo anger management and self-defense classes.
They will also “exercise maximum tolerance” toward erring motorists although he also urged violators to exercise self-control and not hit MMDA personnel.
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