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Hold that cane!

– Cops ready to use rattan sticks on ‘pasaways’; CHR alarmed

HARDHEADED people beware.

Task Force COVID Shield commander Police Lt. Gen. Cesar Binag yesterday said the rattan sticks policemen will be carrying to measure the distance between people on the street could also be used to knock some discipline into violators of the COVID-19 safety protocols.

The law enforcers will use the sticks to enforce the health safeguards imposed by the government including social or physical distancing especially in crowded places like Divisoria and other commercial areas.

However, an alarmed Commission on Human Rights (CHR) cautioned the government against using force to discipline health protocol violators.

CHR spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia stressed that the pandemic is not a peace and order issue but concerns public health.

She said the CHR acknowledges the government is doing everything it can to stem the spread of COVID-19 but the commission will press for the importance of respect for the citizens.

“As such, we wish to caution the government against unnecessary use of force and actions that may lead to humiliation and trauma. Violence, even in its slightest suggestion, is not the best way to address the pandemic. Rather, government should continue to employ information dissemination to make the people understand the hazards of going out in the midst of a pandemic as well as implement programs guided by the sound advice of science and health professionals. Government must equally invest and reinforce protection of health care workers who bear the brunt of curing an ailing population due to this virus,” Guia said.