Makati foreigner to be charged for violating quarantine rules, assaulting police

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 27) — The Makati City Police is preparing a slew of complaints against a foreign national from the posh Dasmarinas Village for allegedly violating quarantine rules, resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.

Makati City Police Chief PCol Rogelio Simon on Monday told CNN Philippines how the incident played out based on the report of the officer involved. He said Police Senior Master Sergeant Roland Von Madrona was patrolling the gated village on Sunday afternoon with several security guards when they chanced upon a househelp watering plants “along the street” without a face mask.

Wearing face mask is now mandatory in public areas to contain the spread of COVID-19. When the police asked for an identification card so they could issue her a ticket violation, Simon said the helper called her employers identified as Javier Parra and his wife.

A video shows a shirtess Parra yelling and ordering the officer to leave the premises of his home, while his wife was trying to pacify him but to no avail. The same video also shows the officer telling Parra that he was just implementing the quarantine protocols and that he did not want to argue with him.

Simon said the foreigner also started cursing at the cops, prompting Madrona to arrest him. He confirmed the two had a scuffle because Parra refused to submit to the authorities.

“Nagsimula ito sa may kalsada at doon naganap ang violation," Simon told CNN Philippines' Balitaan newscast. "Kaya ineffect ng pulis natin ang arrest, pero ang ginawa ng tao ay umatras at nasa driveway na siya. Hindi na kaya ng isang pulis natin kaya umabot sila sa driveway na nagpapambuno silang dalawa.”

[Translation: It started on the street, where the violation happened. The police wanted to arrest him, but he moved back towards his driveway. The lone cop couldn’t contain him so they had a scuffle in the driveway.]

Related: No need to resort to violence in implementation of COVID-19 quarantine measures – Robredo

Among the cases the Makati Police will file against Parra are disobedience, unjust vexation, resisting arrest, assault to person in authority, and violation of the Bayanihan Law for leaving his home without a face mask.

“Kaya sa ngayon nakahanda na ang aming mga documentations para sa pag-file ng kaso against Mr. Parra… Hinihintay na lang ang ating complainant Madrona,” the city police chief said.

The captain of Barangay Dasmariñas, Rossana Hwang, said the household violated the city's quarantine rules.

"Makati has an ordinace requiring face masks in public places. This resident was on the street and sidewalk which belongs to DVA (Dasmariñas Village Association) common area, therefore a public place," she said in a statement.

Simon stood by the actions of Madrona, denying accusations the police officer was extorting the househelp for ₱1,000.

“Mayroong lumalabas na kinikikilan daw ho ang kanyang kasambahay ng ₱1,000," Simon noted. "Iyun po ang mga pangit na impression sa amin at kami ay nag-iimplement lang ng ordinansa sa Makati.”

In the police report, it was indicated that local police were sent to Dasmarinas Village upon the request of the barangay chairperson to make sure ECQ guidlines are implemented under Oplan Bandillo, a security coordination between the police and barangay officials. It was during the patrol when the authorities chanced upon Parra's househelp not wearing a face mask while watering plants in front of the house.

Makati City passed an ordinance requiring people to wear face masks or improvised face cover when in public places. For first offense, the penalty is a ₱1,000 fine.

CNN Philippines is reaching out to the Parra family for comment.

Philippine National Police Chief Archie Gamboa has instructed the Metro Manila police to conduct an investigation into the incident. 

Over 100,000 people have been apprehended or arrested for violating the guidelines on the Luzon-wide community quarantine.

Can police arrest in homes without warrants?

Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio insisted a court-issued arrest warrant is required for police officers to carry out an arrest inside the home — even the homeowner's driveway.

"The rule is your private residence is your castle," Carpio said in a virtual briefing on Monday. "Police cannot enter without your consent. If they want to enter, they have to get a court warrant. Your driveway is part of your residence. There is this fundamental right of the Filipino people in the Constitution that they cannot just enter a residence, including the driveway, without court order, without warrant of arrest or search warrant."

Carpio also sounded off on the incident in a Taguig condominium last week where a police team allegedly stormed  the condominium premises after reports of residents allegedly violating physical distancing rules.

"They (police) think they can enter, they think that this quarantine gives them the authority to go to every condominium building," he said.