Tension gripped at a household of posh subdivision Dasmarinas, Makati City on Monday after a policeman roughly handled a foreigner who allegedly disobeyed authorities implementing the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
The confrontation, caught on video, took place between Police Senior Master Sergeant Roland Von Madrona and Javier Parra, an Italian and resident of Dasmariñas village.
Police said Madrona, while patrolling the village as per request of Barangay Dasmariñas chairperson Rosana Hwang, noticed Parra’s housemaid, Cherilyn Escalate, watering the plants outside the property’s perimeter with no face mask — a violation of ECQ rules.
Madrona, together with Bantay Bayan personnel Esteban Gaan, approached and advised the maid to wear a face mask for her safety.
The maid then went inside the house to get her face mask. Minutes later, Parra and his wife went outside the residence and confronted the law enforcers.
Police claimed that Parra had even lectured Madrona on how to properly implement the guidelines of the quarantine.
While both parties were in the middle of an argument, Gaan took video clips of the incident.
This made Parra, who was without a shirt and face mask, furious, prompting him to humiliate and throw foul words to the cop, police said.
Madrona then tried to arrest him but Parra evaded and went inside his house.
In his separate narration of the incident, Parra said his maid told him that the cop was imposing a fine of P1,000 because she was not wearing a face mask while watering the plants.
“I wasn’t aware that there is a law saying that inside your own property you must wear a face mask,” Parra said.
“I went outside to inquire why the policeman would want to collect P1,000. I told him frankly that a fine isn’t necessary as it occurred on a private property,” Parra said.
Parra said the tension between him and the cop had escalated as the latter had trespassed his residence without any search warrant. The foreigner said the cop also threatened to arrest him.
“My wife, who took the video, advised the policeman that he has no valid warrant of arrest and is not in the right to arrest me. Despite of this, on my own lawn, the policeman grabbed my hands and brutally threw me to the ground and caused me physical injury and abrasions as pictured,” Parra said.
“He continued to scuffle and keep me on the ground to put handcuffs on me,” Parra added.
The cop then let go of the foreigner as his wife repeatedly stated that her husband should not be arrested.
“Finally, I was able to evade the gone havoc policeman by entering my front door, while he was still trespassing my property by standing on my front lawn,” Parra said.
Parra said he had suffered injuries due to the incident: “Having been thrown on the floor and brutalized and attempted to be illegally arrested has caused me immense physical pain.”
Police Major Gideon Ines, Makati City’s Assistant Chief of Police for Operation, said they will file charges against Parra for alleged violation of Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code (Disobedience to a Lawful Person in Authority), Republic Act 11332 (Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act) and City Ordinance 2000-089, for not wearing a face mask, as well as Direct Assault.
According to Makati City Police chief Police Colonel Rogelio Simon, Parra’s maid will also be charged. He also said Parra’s claim that Madrona was asking P1,000 from the maid was just an accusation.
“Accusations lang niya ‘yan. Wala naman siya sa pinangyarihan,” Simon told reporters.
Meanwhile, lawyer Michael Camiña, spokesperson of Makati City, said Mayor Abby Binay already ordered authorities to conduct an investigation on the incident so that appropriate charges would be filed against those concerned.
“The law must be upheld at all times, most especially during a public health emergency where the welfare and safety of the people are of paramount concern,” Camiña said.
The local government of Makati City also urged residents to observe proper protocols in this period of health crisis, especially the mandatory wearing of face mask and observing social distancing.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa ordered an investigation into the on the clash between a cop and a foreigner living in a posh village in Makati City, PNP spokesman Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac said on Monday.
In a press statement, Banac said Gamboa directed the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to look into the incident which happened over the weekend./Stacy Ang