POLICE social distancing patrols fielded this Yuletide Season in Metro Manila and other parts of the country have been armed with meter-long rattan sticks or ‘yantok’ which they can only use in repelling hardheaded quarantine protocol violators once they show aggression against officers accosting them, Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander, Lieutenant General Cesar Hawthorne R. Binag clarified yesterday.
Binag said Filipinos fully observing minimum quarantine protocols like wearing of face masks and face shields and social distancing have nothing to worry about the order from PNP chief, General Debold M. Sinas to arm their social distancing patrollers with ‘yantok,’ probatons or nightsticks since they are part of police equipment.
Binag said the ‘yantok’ will make hardheaded individuals, specifically those openly defying social distancing patrols think twice. In many cases, unruly and drunken persons are known for questioning the social distancing measure which is being implemented to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 virus.
“They will have a rattan stick – one meter length. It’s for stopping (violators) and as a measure device, and would be used to hit hardheaded individuals,” the official earlier said at a Laging Handa press briefing.
Sinas ordered the fielding of more social distancing patrols with bamboo sticks noting that more people have gone out of their homes to visit crowded markets, ‘tiyangges’ and malls despite the pandemic.
Binag said that they have deployed nearly 100,000 policemen to help enforce the law and quarantine protocols at the same time under the new normal.