Pictures of the parents of hit-and-suspect Jose Antonio Sanvicente making certain gestures with the acting police chief in a criticized press conference gained viral on social media.
A news outlet on Wednesday uploaded a picture of Jose Sanvicente, the suspect’s father, seemingly shaking hands with Police Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr.
Another news outlet also shared a picture of his wife who appeared to be doing a “mano” gesture to the acting police chief.
In Filipino culture, this is when an individual receives the hand of an elder person and then presses their forehead towards it.
Considered a sign of respect, this gesture is usually done to older family members and godparents.
Meanwhile, both pictures earned criticisms from social media users, with some claiming that the “padrino” system was at play.
This system, deeply entrenched in the Philippines, is when one gains favor through family affiliation (nepotism) or friendship (cronyism) as opposed to one’s individual merit.
“Mano sa padrino. It’s more fun to be rich and powerful in the Philippines talaga! Woohoo!” a Twitter user claimed in response to one of the images.
The post has reached over 1,200 likes.
Mano sa padrino. It’s more fun to be rich and powerful in the Philippines talaga! Woohoo! pic.twitter.com/SoHaXUk6fu
— ricci (@ricci_richy) June 16, 2022
Robert Anthony Siy, chief transport planner of Pasig City, quoted a friend who had the following thoughts in another picture.
“Saan ka pa nakakita ng PNP chief nakipagkamay pa sa ama ng salarin. ‘Kami bahala’ kumbaga. Grabe. Walang hustisya. He should be behind bars,” he tweeted.
To quote a friend: Saan ka pa nakakita ng PNP chief nakipagkamay pa sa ama ng salarin. "Kami bahala" kumbaga. Grabe. Walang hustisya. He should be behind bars. https://t.co/QNbCAwk1ZL pic.twitter.com/n2pb82Mm0v
— #NoToPAREX Two-wheeled Terror 🚲🏗️🧦🚰🔰 (@goodkidbikecity) June 15, 2022
Siy’s tweet has gained 32,600 likes, over 9,300 retweets and more than 1,400 quote tweets.
“I am so mad at this because road violence is the most normalized, accepted and forgiven form of violence in our lives. Road violence is why you are stuck in traffic, it’s the reason you breathe dirty air, it’s the reason your kids are living in a world that is getting worse,” he wrote in another tweet.
The Philippine National Police on Wednesday allowed the younger Sanvicente to have a press conference after surrendering to the authorities for ramming security guard Christian Joseph Floralde with his sports utility vehicle last week.
The suspect’s driver’s license was revoked and formal charges were filed against him before the prosecutor’s office of Mandaluyong.
He publicly apologized to Floralde and the latter’s family ten days after the viral incident.
Sanvicente’s camp also said that they would shoulder the therapy expenses of the victim who was recently discharged from the hospital but continues to experience pain in his body.
Last June 6, Floralde was run over by the suspect’s vehicle as he was trying to direct traffic at the intersection of Julia Vargas Avenue and St. Francis Street in Mandaluyong.
Sanvicente did not stop when he initially hit the security guard and continued to drive his vehicle over the latter, causing him to suffer multiple injuries.
The suspect’s lawyer said that his client was “scared” and “panicked” at that time.
“Siya mismo ang naga-apologize sa nangyari. Hindi niya gustong mangyari ‘yung aksidente. Nagkataon lang, natakot siya, nag-panic siya,” lawyer Danilo Macalino said.
The case has been juxtaposed with other less affluent individuals who were quickly arrested in the past for protesting their respective cases.
These include “Piston 6” or the jeepney drivers who were arrested after protesting their loss of livelihood and the “Tinang 93” or the farmers and students recently arrested without a warrant in Tarlac.
Police Col. Jean Fajardo, PNP spokesperson, said that Sanvicente was not arrested after the presser as there was “no legal ground to take the respondent” in their custody.
Danao earlier said Sanvicente could be arrested as the hit-and-run was a “continuing crime.”