THE 23-YEAR old Chinese national who threw a soya drink at a police officer was formally charged before the Mandaluyong City Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday.
“The charges such as Direct Assault, Disobedience to Agent of Person in Authority and Unjust Vexation to the ‘Undesirable Alien’ has been confirmed by the Inquest Prosecutor ACP Herbert Abugan,” said the Eastern Police District in a statement on Sunday night, Feb. 10.
Jiale Zhang, a fashion design student, threw her cup of soya pudding to a police officer at the Metro Rail Transit-3 Boni Station on Saturday after she was scolded for not following the ban on any form of liquids at all train stations.
According to police authorities, Ms. Zhang was brought to the Mandaluyong City Prosecutor’s Office at 5 p.m. of Sunday to undergo inquest proceeding with the assistance of a public lawyer. The suspect’s private lawyer, Zandra C. Respall, arrived later on.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar D. Albayalde, meanwhile, reminded foreigners to strictly follow the country’s laws and ordinances.
“They have to respect our culture, the way we [also] respect their culture and the laws of the land. Kung talagang pinagbabawal then talagang dapat tayo sumunod (If it is really prohibited, then we should just follow) because this is part of our security measures,” said Mr. Albayalde in a chance interview with reporters on Monday at Camp Crame.
Following the recent bombings in Mindanao, the management of MRT and Light Rail Transit in the capital implemented a ban on liquid materials, which could be used for explosive materials.
The train station incident has been linked to discussions on Philippine-China economic and security relations, especially on social media platforms, given the continued tension over contested waters.
Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr., however, said in a post online that the Chinese national is “not encroaching” on Philippine territory.
“She was flinging taho, not encroaching in our national territory. She has a visa, which she will lose, but oh well… brain explosion,” said Mr. Locsin in one of his latest in a series of tweets on the issue.
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, meanwhile, called out Ms. Zhang for “bad behavior.”
“All Chinese here in the Philippines should abide by local regulations and laws,” Mr. Jianhua said in a text message to News5 on Monday. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras