No warrant, no arrest inside homes, ex-justice Carpio tells cops

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 27 2020 03:37 PM

Members of the Philippine National Police patrol the Blumentritt Market in Manila on April 21, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — A viral video on Monday showing an altercation between police and a man in an upscale Makati City subdivision has sparked debates on the limits of the government’s implementation of the coronavirus lockdown in Luzon.

Former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio urged law enforcers to bear in mind that they could not enter a residence without the owner’s permission or a court warrant.

“The rule is your private residence is your castle,” he said in an online press conference, reacting to the incident involving Javier Salvador Parra, who was seen confronting police officers in front of his house in Dasmariñas Village.

Carpio said a driveway is also considered part of the house and “protected against unreasonable searches and seizure.”

“I think the solution here is for media to explain to the police that there is this fundamental right of the Filipino people under the constitution that they cannot just enter a residence, including the driveway, without a court order, without a warrant of arrest or a search warrant,” he said.

“If policemen are educated (on this), then that could settle it.”

One video of the incident showed a policeman tackling Parra on his driveway with his wife telling the officer that he was trespassing in their property and that the husband could not be arrested without a warrant.

Another video taken by police showed them calmly speaking with Parra, who later lost his cool and told them to “get out of my house” and “f**k off.”

Police was said to have been implementing a city ordinance requiring people to wear face masks outdoors to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

A helper of Parra’s was allegedly seen not wearing one while watering plants outside.