Sinas denies destroying gate, says family is illegally occupying the gov't lot
MANILA (UPDATE) — Cops from the National Capital Region Police Office, including its chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, allegedly harassed a family living in a housing for policemen in Taguig City on Saturday.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Arles Delos Santos said policemen, led by Sinas, arrived at the front gate of their house at around 4 in the afternoon, wearing camouflage and SWAT uniforms, and armed with guns.
Delos Santos said policemen dismantled their gate and entered the premises of their house.
The incident was recorded by the family's CCTV camera.
Sinas was looking for Delos Santos’ parents, who were not at home at the time of the incident, to ask them supposedly to leave the property.
Delos Santos said the policemen forced their way to the porch and demanded them to leave.
"Sobrang daming pulis. Magpapaalis na naman sa amin. Natakot po kami. Sigaw ng sigaw si General Sinas," he said.
Delos Santos faced Sinas and showed them a certificate of occupancy and a police document acknowledging that they live in the property legally. This document, he said, was signed by Sinas himself.
“Kinuha ko papeles namin may legal papers, na legal pag-stay namin dito. Nagsisigaw, ‘Bakit kami andito, ilan kami dito,’ 'PNP property daw ito'. May papel kami na hawak,” said Delos Santos.
Sinas was not able to show any documents, he added.
Delos Santos said Sinas instructed his policemen to take pictures, including the family members, the plate number of their car, and to record the confrontation on video.
A policeman also snatched Delos Santos' phone when he began recording the incident.
"Nakikipag-agawan po siya. Habang nagpi-picture po ako, grinab, hinablot niya po. Natakot po. Maayos kami nakikipag-usap pero sinisigawan niya po kami, si General Sinas," said Delos Santos.
This happened while NCRPO policemen took videos of them. Delos Santos said he handed over the documents to prove that they were real. However when he wanted it back, one policeman scared him.
"Inambahan po ako ng suntok. Magalang naman ako eh kasi uniformed personnel po sila. Tumawag kami ng barangay para rumesponde, pina-blotter po 'yong nangyari," he said.
Delos Santos' brother, Mike, described the incident as abusive.
"Para sa amin, 'yong unang-una, pagtanggal sa mga bakod po namin na kinabit namin, wala silang pahintulot. Halos magmakaawa pa po kami, talagang pinapakita namin ang papel para mabasa nila," said Mike.
Mildred de Guzman, the purok leader at Barangay Western Bicutan, said the show of force from the police was not necessary, especially in front of young adults in the community.
"Nakita po natin sa video mismo. Mga bata, na-trauma po sila. Nandoon din ang panduduro, nadoon na lahat," she said.
"Wala sila armas at di sila lalaban, bakit sila nagdadala ng mga mahahabang armas?" De Guzman said.
Barangay officials said this is not the first time the police allegedly trespassed the Delos Santos’ residence. On April 22, De Guzman said many policemen in civilian clothes circled the gates of the house.
The Delos Santos family has been residing there since 2010. It has a lot of 5,000 square meters.
In a statement, Sinas identified Arnes' father, Arnel Delos Santos, as a cop who retired from the service in November 2018.
Delos Santos and his family have been illegally occupying the motorpool quarters of the Motor Pool Building and the old Regional Direct Support Unit (RDSU) Building of the NCRPO in Fort Bonifacio, Sinas said.
When Delos Santos was in active duty as a member of the NCRPO's Regional Logistics Division, he was allowed to temporarily use the quartering facility "considering the necessity of his service and for humanitarian consideration," Sinas said.
"However, it was made clear to him that after his retirement, sufficient time frame will be provided for him to vacate the premises considering that it is a government property," Sinas said.
"Despite several dialogues, notices and attempts to amicably settle the issue for him to vacate the property, all efforts exerted were futile. He refused to converse with PNP officials regarding their continued illegal occupancy of the motorpool quarters," he added.
Sinas also denied destroying the family's gate.
The police official explained that he and his men inspected on Saturday the old RDSU Building, which would be used as a quarantine facility for COVID-19 cases for cops, but Delos Santos had barricaded the parking area near the building.
"We saw that said parking area of the motor pool was barricaded with barbed wire, used tires, and a private car. Such area is part of Southern Police District's property granted through a Memorandum of Agreement signed by Philippine Navy," said Sinas.
"Upon inspection, I ordered for the removal of the barricade blocking the motorpool parking area," he added.
Sinas said Delos Santos did not face him to settle the issue and instead, sent his relatives, including a son who is a person with disability.
The documents that the son presented are also "questionable and incapable of being established," according to Sinas.
Sinas said the NCRPO is making an effort to reach out to Delos Santos to settle the issue.
"The NCRPO leadership even offered him our support should he need it in relocating his family after vacating the Police Quartering Unit," he said.