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'Disturbing on so many levels': Senator Tito Sotto, Karen Davila, and more outraged after hit-and-run SUV driver's presser

By AYIE LICSI Published Jun 17, 2022 1:00 pm

Prominent personalities expressed outrage online after the SUV driver who ran over the security guard in Mandaluyong held a press conference on June 15 and got to walk free.

Jose Antonio Sanvicente surrendered himself to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and faced the public together with his parents in Camp Crame. The 34-year-old apologized to victim Christian Floralde, and prior to the presser, got his license revoked by the Land and Transportation Office (LTO).

Police, however, said there were "no legal grounds" for arresting Sanvicente: “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,” PNP spokesperson Colonel Jean Fajardo siad.

This drew the ire of some government officials, media personalities, and members of the public.

'Injustice'

"Kapag mahirap nagnakaw ng bayabas kulong agad! What's happening to our country Mr. President?" Senate President Tito Sotto said on Twitter.

The senator continued to comment on the topic, asking for a drug test to be done on Sanvicente.

He also reacted to a photo of PNP chief Vicente Danao talking to the Sanvicente family.

"PNP says they followed the rules? Really? Bakit hindi nyo subject to drug test? RA 10586 says so! p!&@₱:/¥%#," Sotto continued.

Meanwhile, broadcast journalist Karen Davila described the events as "disturbing on so many levels."

"This is so disturbing on so many levels. Suspect admits to running over the security guard as seen on viral video, holds a presscon with the PNP and lets him walk free. Since when is a hit and run not a crime?" she wrote.

Incoming senator JV Ejercito said that the suspect shouldn't have been allowed to walk free.

"It should already be considered as 'hot pursuit.' Di na dapat pinauwi," he said. 

On June 6, Ejercito said he received a message from the father of Sanvicente and forwarded their details to the PNP.

Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) lawyer Ted Te also commented on the incident, writing a thread about the "surrender."

"It's not a 'surrender' when the driver surfaces to hold a press conference. No charges are pending in court and no warrant has been issued.The police lost their opportunity to arrest him immediately under the 'hot pursuit' exception after he ran over the traffic enforcer," he began.

"If it was a jeepney driver who ran over the guard, you think there would have been a press conference," Te said.

Netizens were also enraged by the presser, calling it an incident of "injustice."

On June 17, Sanvicente was absent from a preliminary investigation at Mandaluyong Hall of Justice, while the security guard Floralde was present.