Filipinos have brought up the issue of double standards once again after SUV owner Jose Antonio Sanvicente was given a press conference after running over security guard Christian Joseph Floralde in Mandaluyong City.
“My apologies sa nangyari, my apologies to Mr. Floralde at sa kanyang pamilya,” Sanvicente said at a press conference in Camp Crame.
Sanvicente’s lawyer Danny Macalino also apologized on behalf of his client but said that they weren’t all that pressured to surrender after calls from authorities to do so.
“Hindi naman under pressure but I think the proper remedy is kailangan magpakita siya to diffuse the public perception na nagtatago siya, at saka para ma-interview namin siya personally kung ano’ng nangyari,” the lawyer said.
“You cannot defend a person in his absence, you cannot. Kailangan malaman namin ang katotohanan. Ang katotohanan will set you free, ‘di ba,” he added.
The suspect’s mother argued that her son was “rattled” and that what happened was an accident.
“Mabait ang anak ko. Nagtatrabaho siya, he is a very responsible man. Ito aksidente naman talaga ito.” she told reporters.
Despite all the apologies, netizens were still baffled at how the family was given a press conference on live TV, noting that the less privileged suspects usually don’t get the same treatment.
Anton San Vicente. He surrendered after more than a week. He brought his parents with him. He was given a press con. Wow.
— Miss Maggie (@MiaMagdalena) June 15, 2022
PNP tuwing binabawi ng mga magsasaka ang lupa nila: Warrantless arrest, delayed justice
PNP tuwing burgis ang nagkasala: Presscon, due process
Because the law is? The safeguards of the ruling class. https://t.co/Gl8Bb8YzzP
— Mon Sy #NeverAgain #NeverForget (@YearoftheMonSy) June 15, 2022
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on June 13 said that the arrest of 91 farmers and their supporters in Concepcion, Tarlac was “lawful” as they were destroying cops during their protest.
“We maintain regularity in the conduct of police operations that resulted to the arrest of [the] 91 individuals,” Police Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr., PNP officer-in-charge said in a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
The arrested individuals are facing multiple charges for malicious mischief, direct assault, disobedience and resistance to persons in authority, obstruction of justice, and illegal assembly.
“Responding police units only dutifully performed intervention operations when the situation went out of hand and the members of the militant groups became unruly,” he said.
May krimen Walang kasalanan pic.twitter.com/uYrV99Dyhu
— Ralph | #SaveSanRoque (@maroontito) June 15, 2022
Bakit yung mga inarestong mga magsasaka walang ganitong presscon? https://t.co/vsYZHPfMbm
— Carlo Trinidad (@hellokidneyMD) June 15, 2022
Yong mga magsasaka na nagbubungkal ng lupa, magpipiyensa ng 36M https://t.co/rf32coHtXy
— simply_clinton (@Simply_Clinton) June 15, 2022
Danao also questioned the foreigners who were present during the protest.
“What are you doing here? And why are you meddling in the internal affairs of this country? Anong ginagawa niyo dyan? Baka kayo ang nag-aagitate ng mga grupong ito,”
Binigyan ng presscon.
Pero yung mga magsasakang nagbungkalan sa lupang pinagkait sa kanila, pinaghuhuli, sinapak, siniko, sinikmuran, ikinulong sa gawa-gawang kaso. Yung 68 years old na environmental defender, kinaladkad na parang baboy. https://t.co/NrrjZaWQa6
— mayka #JusticeForNewBataan5 (@maykamaykaba) June 15, 2022
Kapag mahirap, arestado at may mugshot ka kaagad.
Kapag mayaman, hindi maare-aresto at may pa-presscon pa?!?
— Ogie Rosa (@ogie_rosa) June 15, 2022
Kapag mga aktibista at magsasaka: Aresto kahit walang warrant
Kapag mayaman: Hintayin munang lumabas ang warrant https://t.co/scKeBvJmub
— mayka #JusticeForNewBataan5 (@maykamaykaba) June 14, 2022
Spot the difference. pic.twitter.com/5cxxK96Qno
— #NoToPAREX Two-wheeled Terror 🚲🏗️🧦🚰🔰 (@goodkidbikecity) June 15, 2022
On Thursday, the PNP said there is no legal basis to arrest Sanvicente due to a lack of a warrant of arrest.
PNP spokesperson Police Colonel Jean Fajardo explained the PNP’s stance.
“To inform the public, the PNP has no legal grounds to take into custody itong suspect considering na wala pa namang warrant of arrest na na-issue sa kanya. Hindi na po ito subject for warrantless arrest dahil there’s already a considerable lapse of time from the time na nangyari ‘yung insidente,” she said.
A dashboard camera caught Sanvicente’s car bumping and running over a security guard directing traffic.
The PNP also admitted that the press conference just gave the suspect more media mileage.