Police officer in Dasma incident 'did everything by the book' - DILG
MANILA - Subdivisions should follow guidelines of the inter-agency task force leading the fight against COVID-19, the interior department said Tuesday, following incidents of police altercation with some residents of these areas.
Police officers "maintained their cool" and "didn't fine anyone" when they asked the helper of a resident at the gated Dasmariñas Village subdivision in Makati to go back inside their house and wear a face mask while watering plants at their yard, said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.
"There's no trespassing there" because the incident happened in the street, he said.
Officers only ventured into the frontyard of resident Javier Salvador Parra to arrest him after he "started cursing the officers," as shown in the video that police released, he said.
"That's what you call hot pursuit. Even if the guy went inside the house, if you are arresting somebody, that's allowed by the law," Año told ANC.
Another clip from Parra's wife shows a policeman tackling him to the ground. The officer immediately released Parra after his wife shouted that he had an injury, said the Interior Secretary.
The Makati police will sue Parra for verbal assault, unjust vexation, resisting arrest, violation of local ordinance penalizing those who are not wearing masks, and violation of health guidelines, said Año.
"Subdivision owners cannot make their own rules in enforcing quarantine. It has to be consistent with the guidelines of the IATF," he said.
Policemen can patrol common areas, like parks, at private subdivisions and gated communities. They cannot enter houses without a search warrant or an actual crime happening, he added.
Año also said he would defend the officer who attempted to arrest Parra because he "did everything by the book."
The incident comes less than a week after a policeman's fatal shooting of a former soldier who had post-traumatic stress disorder in Quezon City.
Several other officers are facing investigation for allegedly trespassing at a condominium compound in Taguig and shouting at residents who were practicing physical distancing.
"Let due process continue... We will not tolerate anyone violating the law," Año said of the incidents.