MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte is letting the legal process proceed over the altercation between a foreign national and a police officer in a private village in Makati City, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after videos went viral, showing an altercation between Spanish national Javier Parra, resident of Makati’s exclusive Dasmariñas Village, and Senior M/Sgt. Roland Von Madrona, a member of the Makati City Police.
“The President, of course, is a former prosecutor, he will allow the process to proceed,” Roque said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC).
On Tuesday, local police filed charges of direct assault, resistance, and disobedience to a person in authority, unjust vexation, violation of Makati City Ordinance No. 2000-089 for failing to wear a face mask against Parra.
The wearing of face masks is mandatory under the guidelines for enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) which will be in effect until May 15.
Roque said the observance of the police operational procedures establishes a presumption of regularity in the performance of duty in any police operation.
“We have the presumption of regularity and the discharge of function on the part of the policemen who are concerned which can, however, be overcome,” he said.
He refused to comment on the issue any further, noting that the public would side with either the foreign national or police officer depending on which part of the video they watched.
“I refuse to comment any further because depending on which part of the video you’ve seen, then you will side with the police or the Spaniard so as for now, I think it is the role of the Executive Branch to investigate which we are doing now. And if charges should be filed, it will be filed,” he said.
In one video footage, Madrona was shown struggling with a shirtless Parra who resisted arrest.
Before the incident, another footage showed Parra on the street outside his house cursing at Madrona after the latter purportedly asked the foreigner’s Filipino maid why she was not wearing a face mask while gardening.
The altercation broke out between Parra and Madrona after the former’s maid complained that the latter had fined her PHP 1,000 for watering the plants outside the house without a face mask.
“What we saw initially was only the second half of the video, there was also the first half, which the PNP released. As the policeman said, he only reacted after he was cursed with the F word, and the rest we saw what happened in the video,” Roque said.
On Tuesday, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) warned foreigners that they could be arrested and deported if they disobey ECQ guidelines set by the government to stop the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said they were checking Salvador’s status to determine the information. (ia/PNA)