Robredo on taho incident: 'Pambabastos sa bansa natin'

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday, February 10, said the recent incident involving a Chinese national who threw her plastic cup of taho at the security personnel of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) was also an insult to the Philippines.

"Tayo alam natin kapag nasa ibang bansa tayo, iyong sagad na galang ang ipapakita natin," Robredo said during her weekly radio show on RMN-DZXL 558. "Hindi lang pambabastos sa pulis, pero pambabastos ito sa bansa natin." (Whenever we're in a foreign country, we show respect. What happened is not just disrespect against our police but also our country.)

According to the Mandaluyong police, 23-year-old Jiale Zhang threw her cup of taho at Police Officer 1 Willam Cristobel when the latter reminded her of the no-liquid policy on Saturday morning, February 9.  

Jiale underwent booking procedures at the Mandaluyong police headquarters, and is facing charges of disobedience to a person in authority and unjust vexation.

According to Robredo, this and other alleged incidents of disrespect by Chinese nationals in the Philippines may have rooted from the "special treatment" given to China by the Philippine government, including jobs that could have gone to Filipinos.

The Senate has also expressed alarm over the influx of illegal Chinese workers in the Philippines. Senator Leila de Lima, meanwhile, flagged the reported surge of business licenses awarded to Chinese companies, "employing about 200,000 predominantly Chinese workers who have been arriving since late 2016." 

'Undesirable alien' tag sought

In a separate statement Sunday, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Guillermo Eleazar slammed the Chinese passenger's actions as "offensive." Eleazar said the police will recommend to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to declare Jiale an "undesirable alien." 

Eleazar said this will serve as basis for her deportation. He added it was a recommendation not just for for Jiale's case, but for all foreigners who will disrespect local authorities. 

"We have rules and regulations here. Just like when we are in other countries, we also follow their rules and law," Eleazar said. 

The BI said it will coordinate with the transportation department and NCRPO for details on Jiale's case. – Rappler.com