Screenshot from Parra video
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A man was physically assaulted and nearly arrested by police in the front yard of his own home in a private Makati subdivision, Sunday, April 26.
Around 6 pm, Javier Salvador Parra, a resident of Dasmariñas Village in Makati City, was told by a house staff member that Makati police, who came in an official vehicle, were outside his home to fine him P1,000 because his helper was not wearing a face mask while watering plants.
According to a report by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Monday, cops apparently "chanced upon" Parra's helper watering their plants without a face mask, telling her to wear one. Cops were on patrol inside the village, the NCRPO said, because the barangay captain had requested them to do so.
Parra then went out to confront police about enforcing the mask requirement in his property.
No law or regulation states that you or your companions must wear face masks in your own private property to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. (READ: Luzon lockdown: What are the do's and don'ts?)
Parra faced the unidentified uniformed men – one in fatigues and another in a black shirt – to tell them that a fine was unnecessary.
In a video captured by cops, Parra was seen cursing at them and asking them to leave his property, telling them to focus instead on enforcing lockdown rules in other areas where people converged.
This prompted the man in fatigues to arrest Parra. He charged at Parra and tackled him to the ground, causing injuries. (READ: Makati man went berserk, cursed police – PNP)
Parra’s wife, who was capturing the incident on video, also begged the police to stop, telling them that Parra had a severe back injury and that being pushed on the ground was dangerous to his health.
She also asserted that the men had no right to arrest her husband, as they had no warrant for his arrest. With Parra back on his feet, the men continued to attempt an arrest, and told his wife that they would be arresting her, too.
The wife urged her husband to enter their home, closing the front door. The police left not long after.
“Does 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 police man did with the mentally challenged man few days ago?” Parra told Rappler. He is referring to the case of Corporal Winston Ragos, a retired military man who was suffering from schizophrenia and trauma, and was shot dead by police in Quezon City for supposedly violating lockdown rules.
“My concern is mainly that this police officer and Makati police does this also to the poor…. Filipinos are all in a dire situation with the lockdown, the last thing they need is Makati policemen [wreaking] havoc on Makati citizens,” he added.
Rappler tried to reach the Makati City police regarding the incident but was told they are still verifying the video and are unable to release a statement at this point. We will be updating this story once a statement from the police is released. – Rappler.com
Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon heads Rappler’s Opinion section, and is (happily) wrangled into voice over and hosting work. She has been with Rappler since 2013, and also served as its social media producer for 6 years. She is also a fictionist.