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Chinese student charged with assault after tossing tofu drink at Philippine cop

Chinese student charged with direct assault after throwing tofu 'taho' drink at Philippine police officer

Mugshot of Zhang. (Photo from PIO NCRPO Facebook page)

Mugshot of Zhang. (Photo from PIO NCRPO Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A female Chinese student has been indicted for assault after she hurled a tofu drink at a Philippine police officer in front of a Manila Metro Rail Transit (MRT) station.

In a one-page resolution issued on Monday (Feb. 11), the 23-year-old Chinese national, identified as Zhang Jiale, was charged with direct assault after she tossed a soft tofu drink known in the Philippines as "taho," at a police officer. Zhang had thrown the cup of taho at a police officer after he asked her to discard it before entering the Boni MRT station in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila.

According to the resolution, at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning (Feb. 9), two police officers responded to a call for assistance by a security guard at the MRT station after a passenger "became unruly" when she was prevented from entering the station with a cup of taho. When they arrived on the scene, Officer William Cristobal advised Zhang, who is studying fashion, that she could not enter the station with the beverage, due to a ban on liquids following a recent bomb threat, and had to either finish it or throw it away.

In response, Zhang "got irked" and hurled the cup of taho on Cristobal's chest and drenched his uniform in the sticky, sweet soybean dessert. This prompted Officer Dominador Olimpiada to arrest Zhang.

"The throwing of the cup of 'taho' to complainant, then in uniform is considered deliberate and serious defiance of a police officer who was performing his duties at the time," stated the resolution. The resolution went on to condemn the act as offensive and an affront against a national institution:

"It is offensive both by legal and moral norm considering that there was no provocation on the part of the police officers. Simply put, respondent's unwarranted act is an abrasive affront against an officer in uniform representing a national institution."

In the Philippines, those convicted of direct assault could face six months to six years in jail. I addition, the Bureau of Immigration sees probable cause to deport Zhang based on her social media posts on the incident, reported philstar.

Zhang, who has lived in the Philippines for six years, expressed her remorse about the incident during an interview with GMA news:

"I'm really in bad mood and I was not able to control my emotion. I really admit the mistake I made and I feel so regretful."

She apologized for her actions and asked for another chance. She added that, "I really like the Philippines that's why I stay here. I like people here. I really love Filipinos."

On Sunday, Vice President Leni Robredo said the incident was a "wake-up call" to the "special treatment" the country has been giving to Chinese nationals. She also said Zhang has insulted all Filipinos and her actions were disrespectful: "She not only disrespected a policeman; she disrespected the whole nation," reported Straits Times.

In a response to a news report by ABS-CBS News, Senator Panfilo Lacson on Twitter commented "She’s undesirable. She’s also an alien. Declare her as both."

However, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman Salvador Panelo wrote in a text message: "Let’s not make a big fuss out of this. She has been charged, for one, and two, they are considering deportation."

Video of Zhang tossing the taho at Cristobal:

Details of the resolution by the Mandaluyong City Prosecutor's Office can be seen in the Tweet below:

Updated : 2021-08-02 10:49 GMT+08:00