MANILA - A no contact policy should be in place for violators of city ordinances in relation to the enhanced community quarantine to prevent possible conflict between police and the public, a Commission on Elections official said Tuesday.
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon was reacting to the confrontation between police officer Roland Madrona and foreigner Javier Salvador Parra inside an exclusive subdivision in Makati City. The incident allegedly ensued after authorities accosted Parra's maid for not wearing a face mask while outside watering plants.
"I think this just showed that policemen really need a lot of training and clear guidelines about their role or duties and functions during lockdown, enforcing this city ordinances," she said on ANC's Headstart.
"Ang suggestion ko dito, no contact rule d'yan sa mga ordinance, parang traffic ba. Pag nag-violate ka ng walang mask tikitan kaagad. Bakit hindi nyo na lang tikitan tapos iwan sa yard niya tapos hintayin na ang sa fine doon sa court," she added.
Madrona, who was interviewed earlier on the same show, said he was triggered after the foreigner yelled and cursed at him despite trying to explain to him the lockdown violation of his maid.
A video of the incident showed Madrona tying to take down and enforce arrest on Parra after tolerating his "irrational" and "unreasonable" behavior while his wife screamed in the background.
"I think the policeman was wrong in entering that private property because he was not in hot pursuit. Policemen cannot enter our houses, our private property because that is our constitutional right to be secure in our houses. They cannot enter without warrants except if there is a hot pursuit," Guanzon explained.
She said the policeman was also probably a hard time understanding the foreigner who was speaking in English and uttering bad words in Spanish.
"Ito lang request ko sa police officers. When you arrest somebody naman you tell them what the crime is. Dalawa ang test dito: legality saka reasonableness. Ano ba naman ang reasonable doon dahil lang hindi naka mask 'yung helper nagkagulo-gulo na kasi ang pulis hindi na niya alam kung anong gagawin niya, kaya the generals should train them," she pointed out.
She likewise stressed that cursing at authorities is not direct assault.
"Kung minura lang niya 'yun wala namang ibang overt acts paano ma-intimidate 'yung police? Siya nga 'yung may baril, 'yung foreigner wala. Hindi 'yun direct assault. Baka gusto niyang sabihin you are disobeying a lawful order, 'yun ang mga ginagamit ng mga pulis ngayon," she said.
She added that the Bayanihan Act does not apply there too.
"There was no specific crime there that was committed by this foreigner. What applies here is the violation of barangay ordinance of the City of Makati, that is what we should apply and then what are the overt acts that happened," she said.