Taho-throwing Chinese indicted for direct assault

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 12 2019 01:22 PM

MANILA - The Mandaluyong City prosecutor's office has found probable cause to charge the Chinese woman who threw soybean curd drink, locally called taho, at a policeman in an MRT station over the weekend.

She is also facing a deportation case with the Bureau of Immigration.

In an inquest resolution dated February 11 but released only Tuesday, Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Leynard Dumlao said there was probable cause to file a criminal case for direct assault against 23-year-old fashion student Zhang Jiale.

"[T]he 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," read the resolution.

"It is offensive both by legal and moral norm considering that there was no provocation on the part of the police officers. Simply put, respondent's unwarranted act is an abrasive affront against an officer in uniform representing a national institution," it continued.

Direct assault carries jail time from 6 months to 6 years, under the Revised Penal Code.

Zhang was arrested over the weekend after she suddenly threw her cup of taho at PO1 William Cristobal who prevented her from entering an MRT station because of her unconsumed drink.

Cristobal filed complaints for direct assault, disobedience to an agent of a person in authority and unjust vexation against Zhang at the Mandaluyong City Prosecutor’s Office.

But the Mandaluyong City Prosecutor's Office dismissed the disobedience to an agent of a person in authority and unjust vexation complaints against her, saying the two complaints are part of the direct assault charge. 

Dumlao said disobedience is a necessary consequence of the assault while unjust vexation is deemed absorbed in direct assault. 

Aside from the impending criminal case, Zhang will also face deportation proceedings.

Bureau of Immigration Spokesperson Dana Sandoval said the BI legal team has found probable cause to recommend the filing of a deportation against Zhang.

Sandoval said the BI can file the deportation case on its own initiative on the basis of photos circulating on social media.

She added Zhang faces deportation on the ground that she poses a risk to public interest, in violation of Immigration laws.

Given the pendency of direct assault case against the Chinese woman, Sandoval said the BI will have to wait for the resolution of the criminal case before implementing any deportation, should the BI find basis for deporting Zhang.

Under Immigration rules, a clearance from the court or the prosecutor is required before a deportation order could be implemented.

Sandoval could not however provide a timeline for the deportation proceedings for now, saying it will all depend on the merits of the case.

Zhang had apologized for the incident and said she was just in a bad mood.