MANILA — “Is this our new normal? Nasaan po iyong ‘compassion’?”
This was what actress Bela Padilla asked her Twitter followers on Friday as she shared a video of a police officer hitting and berating a resident in Quiapo, Manila for disobeying the quarantine rules.
The clip, taken last Thursday, began with the cop, identified as Lt. Col. Rey Magdaluyo, chief of the Sta. Cruz police station, threatening people in the area that they would be shot if they went out of their homes in violation of the imposed lockdown.
The furious officer then walked towards a man, who was trying to show his barangay quarantine pass. “Bakit? Oras ba ngayon? Iyan ba —‘yan ba ay dapat mong gamitin ngayon?” he was heard asking in response, before hitting him, cursing him, and sending him home.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it was already investigating the incident, but urged the public to strictly follow the rules of the lockdown.
Reactions to Padilla’s tweet were mixed, with most agreeing that the cop should have maintained a cool head. Others, however, argued that officers need to be stern in dealing with some stubborn residents.
Padilla responded to the latter by writing: “I understand that, madami po talagang pasaway. But violence is not the answer. It doesn’t only hurt physically but it also strips off a person’s dignity. Sa panahon ngayon LAHAT TAYO kelangan habaan ang pasensya.”
A few comments also pointed out how Padilla took a swipe at the call for “compassion” regarding Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
Padilla has been one of the celebrities who have been active in extending help to those who are in need during this quarantine period. She earlier raised more than P3 million to feed street vendors who have lost their livelihood due to the lockdown.