MANILA - Malacañang on Monday reminded foreign nationals in the Philippines to respect the country’s laws and other rules and ordinances following an incident involving a Chinese national who threw a cup of taho (soy bean custard) at a Filipino police officer at an MRT station.
Jiale Zhang, a 23-year-old fashion design student, was arrested after she “suddenly threw" a cup of taho at Police Officer 1 William Cristobal at the MRT-3 Boni Station.
Cristobal intervened as MRT security officers barred Zhang from entering the platform of the station because of her unconsumed beverage.
“Foreign nationals who sojourn in this country should always behave, otherwise they are subject to laws and deportation. We will not allow them to disrespect authorities and violate ordinances,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace press briefing.
Panelo, however, said the matter should not be blown out of proportion, even as some opposition figures say that the incident reflects the ties between Manila and Beijing, where the latter imposes its will on its smaller neighbor.
“Let’s not make a big fuss out of this. She has been charged, for one, and number two, they are considering deportation,” Panelo said.
He said this after Vice President Leni Robredo’s called the taho-throwing incident a "wake-up call" to the "special treatment" given to Chinese nationals in the country.
“Maybe it’s a wake-up call for her to stop speculating and stop giving statements that may inflame incidents that need not be so,” Panelo said.
Cristobal has filed complaints for direct assault, disobedience to an agent of a person in authority and unjust vexation against Jiale Zhang at the Mandaluyong City Prosecutor’s Office.