The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has expressed concern over the reported assault of a police officer against a female Grab driver in Taguig City last Tuesday and committed to conduct its own investigation regarding the incident.
The Grab driver, named Floreanne Rivera, posted about the reported assault on her Facebook page. She narrated that she was on her way to pick up a passenger at a coffee shop in Taguig City when she saw that the driveway was blocked by a pick-up truck. She even sought the help of the coffee shop’s security guard.
The driver of the pick-up truck reportedly came out and opened his door “suddenly and forcefully,” so much so that Rivera was knocked down to the side. She got so upset that she got up and slapped the driver.
It was then that the driver arrested Rivera for allegedly assaulting a police officer. He identified himself as Captain Ronald Saquilayan, and took her to the police station where she was subsequently detained and charged.
CHR Spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia said that they will look into the possible misconduct of the police officer and investigate if there was indeed a disregard of due process of law as claimed by the victim in her Facebook post.
The 1987 Constitution states that any person under investigation for the commission of a crime or offense “shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice.”
“We remind law enforcement agents to uphold their own standard protocols in conducting arrest and to be mindful of the legally allowable force to control someone who physically assaults an officer,” said de Guia.
If the probe proves that there was indeed an abuse of authority on the part of Saquilayan, de Guia said that appropriate complaints will be filed before the Philippine National Police (PNP) – Internal Affairs Service and the Office of the Ombudsman.
“The CHR already reached out to the family of the victim and will also maintain constant coordination with the authorities to give light to the case,” she added.