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No letup vs Chinese ‘taho’ thrower: Deportation, assault raps readied

No letup vs Chinese ‘taho’ thrower: Deportation, assault raps readied

‘TAHO’ ATTACK PO1 William Cristobal grits his teeth as “taho” drips from his chest and arms after being attacked by Chinese student Jiale Zhang (left), who is now facing prosecution for direct assault and deportation for posing a risk to public safety.

The Bureau of Immigration has recommended the filing of a complaint for the deportation of a Chinese woman who refused to obey security rules at a train station in Mandaluyong City and threw “taho” (sweetened soya curd) on a police officer on Saturday.

Jiale Zhang, a 23-year-old Chinese citizen who is studying fashion design in Manila, is also facing prosecution, as the Office of the City Prosecutor in Mandaluyong has found probable cause to charge her with direct assault for throwing taho on PO1 William Cristobal.

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Ban on liquids

Cristobal stopped Zhang at the stiles in the MRT Boni Avenue station on Saturday because she was carrying a cup of taho. He told her to finish her taho before going in or throw it away and he would let her through.

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Liquids have been prohibited at train stations in Metro Manila since two bombs exploded at a Catholic church in Jolo, Sulu province, on Jan. 27, killing more than 20 people and wounding nearly 100 others.

Instead of drinking or throwing away her taho, Zhang splashed it on Cristobal then turned around to leave the station but was stopped by security personnel.

Insolence

The incident was videoed by a commuter and before long pictures of the taho attack and of Cristobal glowering at Zhang, his uniform dripping with tofu and syrup, lit up the internet, with commenters condemning Zhang’s insolence.

Zhang was arrested and clapped in jail, and the Philippine National Police brought charges against her.

On Monday, the PNP honored Cristobal with a medal of commendation for keeping his cool despite the affront to his authority.

Calls for Zhang’s deportation pushed the immigration bureau to look into the incident. On Tuesday, the bureau decided it had a case against Zhang.

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Probable cause

“Our legal team saw that there was a probable cause to file a deportation case against her,” said Dana Sandoval, spokesperson for the immigration bureau.

“The [bureau] can file a case motu proprio, especially since there are photos showing what happened,” Sandoval said.

Risk to public safety

She said Zhang could face deportation for posing a risk to public safety in violation of immigration laws.

Zhang has been living in the Philippines for six years. She last entered the country in October last year on a special resident retiree’s visa.

Sandoval said the immigration bureau would blacklist Zhang upon approval of the deportation case.

Mandaluyong Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Leynard Dumlao, who signed the inquest resolution dated Feb. 11, characterized Zhang’s behavior as a “deliberate and serious defiance to a police officer who was performing his [duty],” consistent with the standard for bringing assault charges.

‘Abrasive affront’

“It is offensive both by legal and moral norm[s] considering that there was no provocation on the part of the police officer,” Dumlao said.

“Simply put, respondent’s unwarranted act is an abrasive affront [to] an officer in uniform representing an institution,” he added.

Zhang could face imprisonment of six years and a fine of P200,000.

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TAGS: Jiale Zhang, taho-throwing incident, William Cristobal, Zhang Jiale
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