April 19 must have been a normal day for the residents of Pacific Plaza Towers in Bonifacio Global City. It was a Sunday, so the gated condominium’s pool and garden area seemed like an enticing place to spend the last day of the week. However, things turned sour when police allegedly trespassed into the condominium and berated them. According to a statement released by the condo’s management, they “[threatened] our residents in a very unseemly and agitated way” and “bullied their way into our private premises without some form of warrant or authorization, which would be trespassing.”
According to a post that went viral (and eventually deleted), “Why would they invade our private community with guns in their hands, screaming at people to go inside because of the virus?”
The post was accompanied by a video where an officer is seen shouting at residents.
The post mentioned that the policemen accosted residents who were in the pool area and the gardens. It went on to note that it allowed tenants, which reportedly include diplomats from many of the world’s embassies, to stay in common areas as long as they wear masks.
Now, Pacific Plaza Towers is considering legal action against the police officers who allegedly trespassed the condo. Their statement said, “The actions of the Philippine National Police in entering Pacific Plaza Towers were extremely upsetting, clearly inappropriate and possibly illegal. We will not let this stand. Our legal counsel is already working on the appropriate action which we will immediately bring to court, or to whichever appropriate authority, possibly in the next two days.”
They said that the cops attempted to enter the condo and threatened to arrest security guards if they are not allowed in.
They also denied the police’s claims that the residents were not following quarantine measures, such as wearing face masks and practicing social distancing. The condo management added that there were only a few residents in the common area and were practicing distancing guidelines.
However, Mayor Cayetano has confirmed that he was the one who ordered policemen to check the condo for allegedly violating the community quarantine rules.
Cayetano told CNN Philippines’ Balitaan, “Yes [I ordered the authorities], ang katotohanan for the last two weeks, ang lungsod ng Taguig ay talagang parte ng sistema namin na chinecheck namin lahat ng condominiums. It isn’t something new.” [The truth is, it is part of the system of the city of Taguig to check all condominiums.”]
Cayetano went on to say that they will investigate the matter and coordinate with both parties. They will fire charges if officials are proven to harass residents. He said, “We are investigating whether they barged in. We will find out, we will file charges if they did. If they waved a gun, we will file charges.”
Yesterday, the four policemen were cleared of any violations. This news was confirmed to Rappler by Philippine National Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar. Moreover, he told CNN Philippines, “If necessary, we will file an appropriate case against the property management if they will not cooperate.”
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