Gov’t probing ‘trespassing’ of cops into Taguig condo to enforce lockdown rules
MANILA, Philippines — The government is now investigating the alleged trespassing incident into a gated condominium compound in Taguig City late Sunday afternoon involving police officers enforcing the enhanced community quarantine rules.
Foreigners of different nationalities living at the Pacific Plaza Towers will reportedly lodge a complaint against the Philippine National Police (PNP) through their respective diplomatic channels after policemen barged into the compound without authorization.
Camouflage-wearing policemen reportedly shouted and waved their guns at condominium residents staying at the pool area around 5 p.m. on Sunday. Residents who were at the area, including children, were threatened with arrest if they did not go back inside their respective units.
According to Palace spokesman Harry Roque, authorities are now investigating the incident. He stressed that uniformed personnel could not barge into private properties without a court order.
“Pero ganoon pa man, eh malinaw ang Saligang-Batas. ‘Yung karapatan ng ating mga kababayan na magkaroon ng—na maging secure sa kanilang mga houses, places, and persons shall be inviolable. Hindi po pwedeng malabag ‘yan kung walang utos po ng ating korte at hukuman,” Roque, a lawyer, said in an online press briefing.
(Still, the Constitution guarantees individuals’ right to secure shelter…and persons shall be inviolable. The charter can’t be disregarded. There’s no order from our court.)
“Ang polisiya po ng pulis naman, hindi po pwedeng pumapasok ang mga pulis sa mga private property kung wala silang nalalaman na nangyayari doon sa private property na yun, kung hindi sila inimbita, o kung wala po silang search warrant,” he added.
(Policemen can’t just enter private property if they have no prior knowledge of a crime being committed at the place or have no search warrant.)
The condominium administrator reportedly told tenants that the police officers were at the compound to discuss enhanced community quarantine protocols with them but supposedly “wandered off into the gardens and pool area, “ where the incident happened.
The entire island of Luzon is under lockdown to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), restricting the movement of about half the country’s population.
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