MANILA— The country's top cop has warned actor Jake Cuenca that he would face consequences after supposedly disrespecting the law, following a car chase with anti-narcotics operatives in Mandaluyong City.
"Sa iyong ginawa, titiyakin ko na mananagot ka sa pambabastos mo hindi lang sa mga pulis kundi sa batas at sa kawalan mo ng disiplina sa sarili," PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said.
(Because of what you did, I will make sure that you will be held accountable for disrespecting not only the police but also the law and for your lack of discipline.)
Eleazar also vowed to implement "disciplinary and corrective measures" after a passing delivery rider was hit by a stray bullet when the operatives shot Cuenca's vehicle.
He tongue-lashed the actor as reckless and lacked discipline and respect to authorities.
As a public figure, Cuenca should "set a good example by owning up to his mistake and facing its consequences," Eleazar said.
The actor was arrested after he allegedly drove off after hitting a police vehicle during a buy-bust operation in Barangay Barangka last Saturday night.
Cuenca's vehicle also reportedly rammed a barrier in the area. This led to a car chase where a Grab driver was hit by a stray bullet.
"Now, I understand the negative sentiments of our kababayan on this issue but let us not forget why this incident happened in the first place: May isang motorista na imbes na humingi ng paumanhin at panagutan ang kanyang pagkakamali ay gumawa ng eksenang pang-teleserye at pampelikula," Eleazar said.
(... There is a motorist, who instead should have apologized and owned his mistake, made a scene similar to TV series and movies.)
Eleazar apologized to the Grab driver who got injured in the incident.
"I would like to assure you and your family that we will take care of all the medical expenses of your hospitalization and we shall also extend financial assistance that will also cover the period of your recovery," he said.
Eleazar also ordered the Eastern Police District to place the involved police personnel under restrictive custody while the investigation is ongoing.
"We assure the public that disciplinary measures will be imposed on the personnel involved and corrective measures will be implemented in order to prevent the repeat of this incident," he said.
Actor Paulo Avelino earlier in the day defended Cuenca, saying he would also do the same thing.
"I wouldn't stop for anyone shooting my vehicle wearing civilian clothes. Pass through a checkpoint? Hinarang ba? If someone was shooting me it's either I shoot back or run for my life. Wrong place wrong time," he wrote on Twitter.
Avelino said Cuenca was heading to his place to visit him after recovering from COVID-19.