President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he wants police to bring back the practice of using batons, citing the need to subdue criminals resisting arrest.
“Pagka gano’n, pinalo ka na ng pulis kasi ayaw mo sumama… Puwede kang paluin ng pulis sa paa then he must bring you to the station. That is the duty of the police, to insist,” Duterte said in his weekly address.
“Alam mo, nagtaka talaga ako kung bakit ito tinanggal,” he added. “Bakit nawala ito na dapat ito ang first line of defense ng pulis?”
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año had brought up the use of “yantok” or rattan sticks at the briefing, saying that they measure one meter in length and were currently used by police "yantok patrollers" to measure distancing among the public.
He added that the police could also use them for self-defense.
Earlier in the day, presidential spokesman Harry Roque warned police against the use of “yantok” or rattan sticks, stressing that it is not allowed under the law and the regulations of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
However, Duterte argued that batons make a good "not-so-lethal weapon" against aggressive criminals.
"We’ll look for the money next year, I’ll buy you the baton… ‘Yung batuta, ibalik ko siguro. But I do not want yung kahoy. It can break the bones inside the body. ‘Yung ano lang, rubber,” he said. — BM, GMA News