A Pasay City police officer was relieved from his post yesterday after videos of him circulated online that supposedly shows him evicting his tenants who had failed to pay their lease.
Master Sgt. Alexander Makarunay allegedly kicked out his tenants from the apartment he owns in the city’s Barangay (village) 145. The cop drew a gun on the residents after they were unable to pay two months’ rent because they were displaced from their jobs during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) which started in March.
Makarunay, who used to be assigned in Baclaran, has been sacked from his post and will be detained at the Pasay City Police Station while his case is being investigated, Philippine National Police Spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told reporters yesterday.
Mayor Emi Calixto Rubiano also ordered Police Chief Col. Ericson Dilag to investigate the incident and “undertake necessary measures on the involved policeman if the evidence and facts would merit it.”
According to tenant named Mary Cuer Nobleza, who posted the video of the incident, the landlord-policeman had driven them out of their rented home on April 12.
“This is the policeman who owns [our] house in Village 145; he drove us out in the middle of ECQ,” Nobleza said in Filipino in a now deleted post.
She claimed that they were forced to leave their valuables behind because they didn’t have any means of transporting their possessions. Upon returning to Makarunay’s property to retrieve their belongings, she discovered that they had gone missing.
“Our [former] neighbors said they threw it away, and some of it they sold. All this because we weren’t able to pay two months’ rent. How can we have money when we don’t have jobs! He evicted us during ECQ and we had to walk from Pasay to Antipolo,” Nobleza wrote.
“Now he’s saying we ran out on our debt. This happened on April 12; we posted this just now because they took our things. What else can we do? Please help us by sharing this,” she added.
In the video, a cop, supposedly Makarunay, is seen having an argument with one of the residents, asking in Filipino, “What are you complaining about?” He then pulls out a gun while a woman cries off-cam.
“Our policemen are among the frontliners that we regard in high esteem. It is very disturbing when one of them gets involved in a controversial incident, especially when he or she causes the eviction of a tenant family in the midst of the ECQ, and allegedly in a high-handed manner at that,” Mayor Calixto told reporters in a statement.
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This article, Pasay City cop sacked for pulling a gun while allegedly evicting residents (VIDEO), originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!