‘Cops on patrol for quarantine violators must have night sticks’

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    PNP Chief Gen. Debold Sinas will require all policemen on patrol to be equipped with night sticks to ensure physical distancing when they accost people violating community quarantine protocols.

    “We will be issuing directives to our people throughout the country to implement this. All policemen on patrol should have night sticks to prevent infection,” Sinas told a press briefing in Camp Crame.

    “Our guidance is when you accost them, observe physical distancing. If possible use batons or nightstick so there will be no infection among the policemen and the public,” Sinas said.

    “All social distance patrollers should have night sticks or batons to prevent infection.”

    Sinas said the social distance patrollers are usually deployed in malls, train stations, bus terminals, public markets and flea markets.

    Sinas also said that three police generals are among policemen who recently tested positive for COVID-19.

    He identified the three as Northern Police District director Brig. Gen. Ronnie Ylagan, PNP Firearms and Explosives Office director Brig. Gen. Rommil Mitra and Brig. Gen. Joey Runes, who is assigned with the office of the PNP chief.

    Ylagan was among the officials affected by the recent revamp in the PNP. He was assigned as the new director of the Zamboanga Peninsula regional police office.

    “The turnover at the PRO 9 (Police Region Office 9) cannot yet push through because the district director of NPD, Gen. Ronnie Ylagan, has tested positive,” Sinas said.

    A total of 8,103 police personnel have tested positive for the deadly virus, with 26 deaths as of Sunday night.

    Sinas said policemen will observe misa de gallo in churches inside police camps during the coming Yuletide season. He said masses will be held in keeping with the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

    He said chiefs of police are already coordinating with local parishes to ensure COVID-19 protocols are followed so that large groups of people would be avoided.