A Commission on Elections official suggested Tuesday to have a “no contact rule” when implementing community quarantine protocols to prevent altercations between the police and the public.
Rowena Guanzon, Comelec Commissioner, was responding to the heated argument between police Senior Master Sgt. Roland Von Madrona and the Spanish national Javier Salvador Parra inside Dasmariñas in Makati City. The incident started when the officer apprehended Parra’s housemaid for not wearing a mask while watering the plants outside his house.
“I think this just showed that policemen really need a lot of training and clear guidelines about their role or duties and functions during lockdown, enforcing this city ordinances,” she said on ANC’s Headstart.
“Ang suggestion ko dito, no contact rule d’yan sa mga ordinance, parang traffic ba. Pag nag-violate ka ng walang mask tikitan kaagad. Bakit hindi nyo na lang tikitan tapos iwan sa yard niya tapos hintayin na ang sa fine doon sa court,” she added.
(My suggestion here, no contact rule on the ordinances, just like with traffic. When you violate because you’re not wearing a mask, you’ll get a ticket immediately. Why not just give them a ticket on his yard and just wait for him to pay the fine at the court.)
The police officer said he was triggered after Parra shouted and cursed at him while he calmly explains the housemaid’s supposed violation.
Parra said Madrona, “trespassing [on] my private property without a valid search warrant and wanting to arrest me for no valid reason.”
‘No contact rule’ urged in implementing quarantine protocols
“I think the policeman was wrong in entering that private property because he was not in hot pursuit. Policemen cannot enter our houses, our private property,, because that is our constitutional right to be secure in our houses. They cannot enter without warrants except if there is a hot pursuit,” Guanzon explained.
Guanzon also said the Madrona could have a hard time understanding Parra,, who was speaking in English and cursing in Spanish.
“Ito lang request ko sa police officers. When you arrest somebody naman, you tell them what the crime is. Dalawa ang test dito: legality saka reasonableness. Ano ba naman ang reasonable doon dahil lang hindi naka mask ‘yung helper nagkagulo-gulo na kasi ang pulis hindi na niya alam kung anong gagawin niya, kaya the generals should train them,” she pointed out.
(This is my only request to the police officers. When you arrest somebody, you should tell them what the crime is. There are two tests here: legality and reasonableness. What is reasonable in that situation, just because the helper has no mask? The altercation occurred because the policeman doesn’t know what he’s doing, so the generals should train them.)
She also stressed that cursing at authorities is not direct assault but just disobeying a lawful order.
She added that the Bayanihan Act does not apply in the situation too. “There was no specific crime there that was committed by this foreigner. What applies here is the violation of barangay ordinance of the City of Makati, that is what we should apply and then what are the overt acts that happened,” she said.