February 12, 2019 – STATE prosecutors have approved the filing of a direct assault charge against a Chinese woman who splashed “taho” at a police officer at the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3) station in Mandaluyong City over the weekend.
In a resolution issued by Office of the City Prosecutor of Mandaluyong City, government prosecutors recommended that Chinese national Jiale Zhang, 23, be indicted with direct assault to an agent in authority under Article 148 of the Revised Penal Code.
“Probable cause exists to indict respondent with Direct Assault,” read the resolution signed by Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Leynard Dumlao and approved by City Prosecutor Bernabe Augustus Solis.
The case stemmed from an incident last Saturday at the MRT 3 station in Mandaluyong City which was caught on video that went viral on social media.
Zhang, as fashion student, threw a cup of taho at Police Officer 1 William Cristobal after being lawfully prohibited from entering the MRT station with a beverage.
“Simply put, respondent’s unwarranted act is an abrasive affront against an officer in uniform representing a national institution,” government prosecutors stated.
They explained that under the crime of direct assault against an agent of a person in authority “the assault and force employed must be serious in character as to indicate respondent’s determination to defy the law and its representative at all hazards.”
“Indeed, the throwing of the cup of ‘taho’ to complainant, then in uniform is considered deliberate and serious defiance to a police officer who was performing his duties at that time,” they stressed.
“It is offensive both by legal and moral norm considering that there was no provocation on the part of the police officers,” it added.
On the other hand, prosecutors said the disobedience complaint against her under paragraph 2 of Article 151 of the RPC has been dismissed “considering that the same is a necessary consequence of the assault.”
They also dismissed the unjust vexation complaint against her since it is “deemed absorbed in Direct Assault.”
In a related development, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) legal division has recommended Tuesday the filing of a deportation case against Zhang.
“Our legal team saw that there was probable cause to file a deportation case against her and the bureau can file a case motu proprio, especially since there are photos showing what happened, ” BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said.
Zhang later claimed that she was “just in a bad mood” and apologized for her actions.
Ms. Sandoval disclosed that Zhang may face deportation for posing as a risk to public interest in violation of immigration laws.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente expressed his dismay towards the incident, saying this is an utter display of disobedience and arrogance against a person of authority.”
Zhang arrived in October last year with a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa.
Sandoval said that Zhang will automatically be placed in the bureau’s watchlist upon approval of the deportation charge to prevent her from returning to the country. (Jeffrey Damicog, Jun Ramirez)