MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is investigating whether Javier Salvador Parra – the Spanish citizen who was nearly arrested by a cop for allegedly violating coronavirus lockdown rules in Makati City – is overstaying in the country.
“It’s still too early to release details from our side, but yes, his status is something we’re also looking into,” BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval told reporters in a text message on Tuesday, April 28, when asked to confirm an ABS-CBN tweet citing Makati police as claiming that Parra was overstaying.
She said, however, that the BI was still “unable to confirm it at this stage.”
“Maybe once final report and recommendation has been filed,” Sandoval added.
In a phone interview with Rappler, Makati police chief Colonel Rogelio Simon said they still had no information on Parra’s status and would leave it to the BI to issue an official statement.
Why the probe? There have been calls to check Parra’s immigration status following reports on his encounter with authorities on Sunday, April 26. This happened after a cop demanded the Parras to pay a P1,000-fine for allowing their house helper to water their plants in front of their house without a face mask, even though she performed the task inside their private property.
Videos showed Parra cursing Senior Master Sergeant Roland Madrona and telling him to leave his property. This prompted Madrona to arrest Parra by tackling him to the ground, leaving Parra with skin abrasions.
Throughout the incident, Parra’s wife begged Madrona to stop because Parra had a back injury. Madrona relented and left.
Makati police on Tuesday filed a criminal complaint against Parra for unjust vexation, disobedience, assault, violating quarantine rules, and not wearing a face mask.
Police abuse? Parra described his encounter with cops as another incident of Philippine police brutality during the lockdown.
“Do Makati police not have better things to do, like stop real criminals? If there was no camera running, would he perhaps have shot me, like the policeman did with the mentally challenged man few days ago?” Parra told Rappler earlier.
The encounter is the latest in a series of reported incidents of alleged police abuse. On April 19, cops stormed the Pacific Towers Plaza in Taguig City and were seen acting aggressively to enforce quarantine guidelines. Retired Supreme Court associate justice Antonio Carpio said policemen in the Taguig incident violated the law for entering without a court-issued warrant.
On April 21, a former military man, Winston Ragos, was shot dead by a cop in Quezon after being suspected of violating quarantine rules and allegedly threatening the cop’s life. – Rappler.com