Taho-splashed cop honored

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The Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday awarded the Medalya ng Papuri to a rookie policeman who showed grace under pressure after being splashed with taho (soybean curd) by an angry female Chinese student.

Police Officer 1 William Cristobal was feted during Monday morning’s flag-raising ceremony at the national headquarters of the PNP at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde praised Cristobal for being firm but at the same time showing patience. The awardee said he was just doing his job.

Cristobal was called by security guards at the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) station to pacify and explain to Jiale Zhang, 23, the ban on bringing liquids into the station when she splashed the soybean curd on him.

The taho-splashing incident is fueling national outrage over the big numbers of Chinese who had come to the Philippines to take on jobs which Filipinos can fill in.

The ban had been agreed upon by the PNP with the management of MRT and the Light Rail Transit, as well as the Department of Transportation (DoTr), since liquid-based explosives and chemicals can be used in terror attacks.

Recent bombings in Mindanao, including the Jolo cathedral bombing that killed 22 people and wounded over 100, spurred heightened security alert in the country. Bomb threats had also been received directed at the country’s railways system.

The Chinese had been formally charged at the Mandaluyong City Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday afternoon. She was brought in for inquest proceeding by 5 p.m. assisted by a lawyer from the Public Attorney’s Office.

She faces charges for direct assault, disobedience to an agent or person in authority and unjust vexation. A resolution was set to be released today whether she would be subjected to deportation or made to face trial.

Zhang entered the MRT’s Boni Station’s baggage inspection area last Saturday with the security personnel asking her to finish eating the taho so she could be allowed in.

She insisted on bringing in the taho, prompting the guards to call PO1 Cristobal to explain to her the policy. The then angry Chinese threw the taho at the cop, covering his uniform with the curd.

She was promptly escorted to the Shaw Boulevard Police Station where she was investigated and later on brought to the Mandaluyong City Police Community Precinct 5 for proper disposition.

According to a report, the MRT-3 management may also file separate charges against Zhang along with the complaint filed by PO1 Cristobal.

The DoTr said in a statement that “consumption of unsealed food and drinks are prohibited inside trains and stations as this can cause inconvenience, accident and delay to our operations.”

The Bureau of Immigration has said it will look into possible actions against the student of a fashion school presently residing in Mandaluyong.

Metro Manila police chief Director Guillermo Eleazar spoke with Zhang through an interpreter and said he will “recommend for her to be considered as an undesirable alien.”

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