The public juxtaposed the treatment of the Philippine National Police towards the suspect in the hit-and-run incident in Mandaluyong City and individuals arrested for protesting their respective causes.
Some Filipino social media users pointed out that Jose Antonio Sanvicente, owner of the sport utility vehicle (SUV), who ran over a security guard in Mandaluyong City was given media airtime and did was not arrested.
PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. said that Sanvicente, the owner of the SUV who yielded to authorities on Wednesday, cannot be subjected to inquest proceedings because its time has already lapsed.
According to the rules, people who are arrested without a warrant may be subjected to inquest proceedings. In the case of Sanvicente, it has been ten days since the incident happened which makes him not a subject for a warrantless arrest.
#Mayaman trended on Twitter Philippines after several online users talked about the 34-year-old Sanvicente and perceived that the law enforcement is being “unjust” to the marginalized.
The public decried the use of technicalities on the issue and compared the happening on the arrest of the “Piston 6” in 2020, where six jeepney drivers, including a senior citizen Elmer Cordero, for holding a peaceful protest.
A Reddit user made a juxtaposed meme containing two pictures: on the top is Sanvicente and his family and below is Cordero in jail.
Written are the words “due process kung mayaman,” “kulong kung mahirap.”
Some politicians joined the clamor including outgoing Senate President Vicente Sotto who was appalled by the news that the PNP gave Sanvicente media exposure.
“Kapag mahirap nagnakaw ng bayabas kulong agad! What is happening to our country Mr. President?” he said in a tweet.
The public also compared the police treatment with the “Tinang 92” in Concepcion, Tarlac where police arrested farmers, land reform advocates, journalists and student journalists after holding a protest on June 13.
A Twitter user lamented the supposed “unjust treatment” between the Tarlac farmers and Sanvicente.
“The Tarlac Farmers are detained because they’re fighting for what’s theirs while this mayaman na person is running free because lapsed na yung pangyayari. Anong klaseng sistema yan?” the user said.
League of Filipino Students spokesperson Carwyn Candila also said that it is just a play of PNP to “show that they are an effective police force.”
“Imagine if there wasn’t a dash-cam clip of the incident. They won’t bother. They would’ve just let this go,” he said in a tweet
“This whole drama exposes the inutility of the PNP…They have shown that their force is ineffective. The people can easily juxtapose this incident with #Tinang92…Kapag mayaman, kailangan ng warrant, pagbasa ng Miranda rights, at option sumurrender. Pag mahirap, patay,” he added.
Meanwhile, Arjanmar Rebeta, a director, posted a literary piece he wrote entitled “SUV Driver VIP Treatment.”
In an interview by One News with UST civil law professor DJ Jimenez, Sanvicente could only be arrested if the office of the prosecutor found probable cause, and filed a case in the court. The court will then issue a warrant of arrest against him.