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Karen Davila, Tito Sotto, Ted Te shocked to see a hit-and-run driver walk free

He tweeted, “Kapag mahirap nagnakaw ng bayabas kulong agad! What’s happening to our country Mr. President?”

The failed attempt of authorities to capture the driver of the sports utility vehicle (SUV) that put a security guard critical in the hospital left several personalities on Thursday, June 16, baffled by the country’s justice system.

The suspect, identified to be Jose Antonio Sanvicente, apologized for the incident after the Philippine National Police (PNP) gave him media time.

“My apologies for what happened. My apologies to Mr. Floralde and his family,” Sanvicente said through his face mask.

Furthermore, the authorities ordered him to show proof that he was not the vehicle’s driver that ran over the security guard Christian Joseph Floralde.

Seasoned broadcast journalist Karen Davila admitted that it was “disturbing on so many levels.” The suspect, who apologized subconsciously, admitted to “running over the security guard as seen on viral video” but was able to “walk free.”

In another tweet, Davila shared that the perpetrator could escape jail because of PNP’s failure to apprehend Sanvicente within a specific period.

Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr also said that a warrantless arrest could only be applied to the suspect if he is about to commit, is committing, or has just committed a crime. Unfortunately, ten days had passed before Sanvicente “surrendered” to the authorities.

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) 2020 guidelines on Receiving of Criminal Complaints for Inquest Proceedings stated that “The inquest proceeding is an informal and summary investigation conducted by a public prosecutor in criminal cases involving persons arrested and detained without the benefit of warrant of arrest issued by the Court.”

According to Danao Jr, the case has already been “solved.”

“So, we are now leaving to the prosecutor’s office and to the courts, to answer the matters at hand,” he stated.

Meanwhile, senator Tito Sotto even had to ask the outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte about the matter.

He tweeted, “Kapag mahirap nagnakaw ng bayabas kulong agad! What’s happening to our country Mr. President?”

He was also disappointed with the PNP using the word “invite” to address the supposed surrender of the suspect.

The senator even reminded the authorities that there is no exception regarding individuals getting drug tested in accidents.

Sotto even replied to Davila’s tweet, suggesting an immediate drug test for Sanvicente.

Regarding the drug test, however, the legal team of Sanvicente refused to disclose whether they would have their client accept it or not.

“The charge he is facing is a traffic accident charge. As of now, we are not prepared to give him advice [on a drug test],” Atty. Danilo Macalino said.

Former Supreme Court Spokesperson Ted Te also shared his take on the case. In a series of tweets, he clarified that Sanvicente did not surrender since there were no pending charges against him.

He said that the statements made by the suspect during the presscon could be used as evidence for frustrated murder.

Te also wondered why the suspect had to be subject to a press conference since he was not going to be arrested.

His final thoughts were this, “In principle, I am against perp walks. They condition public opinion against a suspect even before trial–more so, if it is done by authorities at the highest levels. They send the wrong signal to the courts. There should be a law against perp walks, but that’s wishful thinking.”

In the meantime, Floralde has been discharged from the hospital and was adamant about having Sanvicente charged with the complaints against him.

Earlier on Monday, Sanvicente’s license was revoked by the Land Transportation Office (LTO). It was also discovered that he already had three previous reckless driving incidents and was arrested in 2010, 2015, and 2016.

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