MANILA (4th UPDATE) - Makati police are set to file charges against a foreign resident of an exclusive village for disobeying authorities who were enforcing the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Makati police chief Col. Rogelio Simon said his men accosted the maid of Javier Salvador Parra, for not wearing a face mask while outside the residence. Makati's City Ordinance No. 2020-089 requires residents, workers and all other persons in the city to wear face masks and other protective equipment while outdoors or in public places.
The village association and officials of Barangay Dasmariñas called the police to complain about violations of the ECQ within the subdivision, said Simon.
A video shared by the Joint Task Force Coronavirus Shield showed Parra, who was not wearing a face mask, telling 2 police officers - one in fatigue uniform and another in a black shirt - to go to Tondo or Manila instead of his house.
"I am a decent citizen. I also have a right to complain as a citizen," Parra told police officers, saying he has 80 Filipinos under his employ.
He also confirmed that he had a drink before going outside.
He then told the police to get out of his house, adding: "You should be ashamed of yourselves."
Simon said police were compelled to place the man under arrest for being belligerent, but he resisted and fled to his house.
A separate video on social media earlier showed one police officer trying to arrest Parra while his wife said they need to have an arrest warrant.
In a statement, Parra said the police officer "grabbed my hands and brutally threw me to the ground and caused me physical injury and abrasions... He continued to scuffle and keep me on the ground to put handcuffs on me."
The officer let go of Parra after his wife told him that he couldn't be arrested without a warrant. He eventually evaded the policeman by entering his house.
Parra said he suffered wounds on his elbows and hands. He said he also had a prior spinal injury and that the incident caused him "immense physical pain."
Barangay Dasmariñas chairperson Rossana Hwang defended the policeman, whom she said maintained an "unfazed" and "cool" attitude despite Parra's behavior.
The policeman only reminded Parra's maid to wear a face mask, according to Hwang.
"All of a sudden, the resident came out of the house without a mask and began cussing," she said.
"The resident resisted arrest and when he was about to handcuff him, the wife said he had spinal injury."
The policeman's superior and Parra resolved the matter by deciding to "just blotter the incident," said Hwang.
Hwang said she was surprised that Parra "posted his one-sided incident in social media."
Hwang explained that their barangay had sought assistance from the police to patrol the community for quarantine violators.
The Metro Manila police will look into the incident, according to Philippine National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac.
"It is in the best interest of public health, order and safety that the PNP is enforcing ECQ rules and local ordinances to contain the spread of COVID-19," he said in a statement.
"Let me emphasize that police operations to enforce the law are strictly guided by the Revised Police Operational Procedures that every police officer making arrests or police intervention should strictly observe."
Makati Mayor Abby Binay has also asked the Makati police to investigate the matter, according to city government spokesperson Michael Camiña.
“The appropriate charges should be filed against those concerned after a full investigation,” said Camiña.
CLEAR VIOLATION OF CITY ORDINANCE
The Makati City government reminded residents to observe quarantine protocols, such as the mandatory use of face masks and practice of social distancing.
In an interview on DZMM, Binay said it was clear Parra violated the city's quarantine protocols.
"Mayroon bang provocation on the part of the foreigner? Yes, there's provocation. Nasa private property ba sila? No, nasa kalye sila. Kita naman natin 'yun, na nasa sidewalk sila. Naka-face mask? Hindi sila naka-face mask. Kita rin naman natin 'yun," she said.
"Is there a violation? Yes, there's a violation," Binay added.
According to Binay, she will leave it to the discretion of the Makati Police to review whether there were violations on the part of the arresting officers.
"Kung sinasabi nila na nasobrahan 'yung reaction nung pulis, then I think the police would have to review kung sa tingin nila nasobrahan 'yung action ng kapulisan," she said.
The incident comes less than a week after a policeman fatally shot a former soldier who had post-traumatic stress disorder in Quezon City last week.
Members of the Taguig City police were also the subject of a separate complaint by officials of a posh condominium at the Bonifacio Global City for alleged trespassing and inappropriately berating some of their residents for not complying with quarantine protocols.
Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon, as well as select parts in the Visayas and Mindanao, are imposing strict quarantine measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019, which, as of Monday, has sickened 7,777 in the country, of whom, 511 have died.