PNP probes scuffle in Makati village

Ghio Ong, Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
PNP probes scuffle in Makati village
Police said they would file charges of disobedience to an agent of a person in authority, direct assault and violation of Republic Act 11332 for not wearing face mask against Parra.
Philstar.com / AJ Bolando, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday ordered an investigation into a scuffle between a police officer and a foreign resident at Dasmariñas Village in Makati, who allegedly violated guidelines of the enhanced community quarantine on Sunday.

Senior M/Sgt. Roland Von Madrona and Spaniard Javier Salvador Parra, of Dasmariñas Village, figured in a heated altercation that was caught on video, which went viral on social media.

The video showed Madrona tackling Parra at his private property.

PNP chief Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa ordered Metro Manila police director Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas to probe the incident.

Sinas said Parra was the one who instigated the scuffle with police.

According to PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, members of the Makati police and barangay peacekeeping officers were patrolling the village when they spotted Parra’s housemaid, Cherelyn Escalate, watering plants outside the house with no face mask – a violation of the enhanced community quarantine rules.

Madrona, together with barangay watchman Esteban Gaan, approached Escalate and advised her to wear a face mask for her safety.

Escalate went inside the house to get a face mask. After a few minutes, Parra, who was allegedly drunk, and his wife rushed outside and confronted the law enforcers.

Parra was overheard in the video cursing the policemen.

Police said they would file charges of disobedience to an agent of a person in authority, direct assault and violation of Republic Act 11332 for not wearing face mask against Parra.

Under the city’s ordinance, residents not wearing face masks will be fined up to P5,000 and penalized with up to six months in prison.

‘Police harassment’

Parra, who suffered injuries as a result of the scuffle, decried the alleged harassment by the police.

He cried foul over the action of Madrona to sue Escalate for not wearing a face mask.

“I am shocked that the Makati police entered my house to arrest me because my housemaid watered the plants on my property without wearing a face mask,” Parra said.

The Parra couple challenged the authorities to implement fairly the enhanced community quarantine measures.

They condemned the police for trying to arrest Parra without a warrant. 

 Barangay Dasmariñas captain Rossana Hwang admitted that she requested for police presence in the village to accost quarantine violators.

In a statement, the Dasmariñas Village Association said while it supports the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the group also “recognizes the right of residents to be secured at their homes against unwarranted intrusion by law enforcement officers.”

Binay orders probe

Makati Mayor Abby Binay ordered the city police to conduct an impartial on the incident, according to her spokesman Michael Camiña.

Binay reiterated that the “law must be upheld at all times, especially during a public health emergency.”

She also reminded the residents to obey guidelines during the quarantine period such as the mandatory wearing of face masks and practice social distancing.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson lauded the Makati policemen for doing their job.

Lacson said Parra challenged police authorities with an “arrogant and demeaning behavior.”

He said the PNP is tasked to implement guidelines of the enhanced community quarantine without fear or favor.

The Bureau of Immigration said it would ask its intelligence division to determine if Parra violated immigration rules.  – With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Evelyn Macairan, Neil Jayson Servallos

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