The five officers who were caught in a viral video assaulting a Baclaran vendor will face administrative charges, Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez announced today.
Olivarez said the five men who mauled vendor Warren Villanueva should have given a warning first, and allowed the entrepreneur to leave voluntarily instead of hurting him. Villanueva’s assault was captured on video by a witness and it became viral over the weekend. Netizens were infuriated when they saw the unarmed Villanueva being kicked on the face and pinned to the ground.
Villanueva was allegedly collecting and selling junk at a prohibited area in Baclaran when he was arrested by the officials.
“They won’t just be terminated; there will be an administrative case that the city will file [against them],” Olivarez said in English and Filipino in an interview with the news program Headstart.
The mayor said that the officials should have been more tolerant of Villanueva, who, in a separate interview, said that he was only protecting his belongings from the officials. Olivarez said the enforcers should not have used “excessive force and [committed] abuse of authority.”
“We all know that our situation now is a pandemic. It’s a separate situation, really different [from previous years]. As people working for the government, we have to be more understanding when we enforce the rule of law,” he said.
Olivarez said that Villanueva, who already filed a complaint at the police against those who had mauled him, was shaken by what happened.
“He is in Baclaran. He’s alright but there is still that fear in him, the anxiety,” he said.
“We just want to apologize to Warren’s family. That wasn’t [part of] city protocol and whoever is at fault will be made to pay.”