MMDA women train how to best use ‘batuta’ vs road bullies
First, they were given batons. Now they are taught how to wield them effectively against attackers.
Traffic constables of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) have started taking martial arts lessons using the batons recently donated to the agency, which deemed such a training necessary due to increasing encounters with violence-prone motorists.
Experts from Philippine Tapado Kali Corp. have started conducting self-defense classes for the first batch of 30 female traffic enforcers, MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago said.
“Our women enforcers checking yellow lane violators in Edsa were the first to be trained because they are more vulnerable to abuse and harassment compared to their male counterparts,” Pialago said, adding that those deployed in other “critical areas” like Commonwealth Avenue will be next.
She maintained that the wooden clubs would be used only for “self-defense against violent motorists.” The trainees will also undergo a program for them to learn “anger management” and exercise “maximum tolerance” when threatened.
The MMDA said it had recorded 38 cases of enforcers being hurt by erring motorists since 2017. Of these cases, eight involved motorists who were able to escape after the assault, 18 were settled amicably while only two were filed in court.
An online video recently went viral showing an MMDA enforcer being struck by a woman who was apprehended for not wearing a helmet in Quezon City. —DEXTER CABALZA
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