Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), lashed at actor Jake Cuenca for what he described as lack of discipline and lack of respect to the law the latter engaged policemen into a car chase after hitting a police vehicle in Mandaluyong City.
Cuenca was arrested on Saturday night, Oct. 9, after a car chase with operatives of the Mandaluyong City Police.
Initial reports stated that personnel of the Station Drug Enforcement Unit of the Mandaluyong City Police were about to leave an area in Barangay Barangka where they conducted an ant-illegal operations when their car was hit by a vehicle driven by actor Jake Cuenca. The vehicle also rammed a barrier in the area.
But instead of going out of the car, Cuenca sped off which resulted in a car chase. During the incident, the operatives shot the tires of Cuenca’s car in a bid to force the vehicle to stop.
A Grab driver was hit by a stray bullet. He was taken to the nearest hospital and is now recuperating.
Eleazar described Cuenca’s actions as irresponsible since the car chase placed motorists and commuters at risk. Some of netizens and his fans were quick to defend him and blamed the policemen instead, especially that a Grab driver was hit by a bullet fired by the chasing cops.
I understand the negative sentiments of our kababayan on this issue but let us not forget why this incident happened in the first place: May isang motorista na imbes na humingi ng paumanhin at panagutan ang kanyang pagkakamali ay gumawa ng eksenang pang-teleserye at pampelikula (There’s a motorist who, instead of apologizing for what happened and taking responsibility from it, turned it into a television series and movie scene),” said Eleazar.
What the actor did, according to Eleazar, was reckless and only showed lack of discipline and respect to authorities.
“Being an actor and a public figure, he must set a good example for people who idolize him by owning up to his mistake and facing its consequences,” said Eleazar.
“Sa iyong ginawa, titiyakin ko na mananagot ka sa pambabastos mo hindi lang sa mga pulis kundi sa batas, at sa kawalan mo ng disiplina sa sarili (Because of what you did, I will make sure that you will be held accountable for disrespecting not only the police but also the law, and for your lack of discipline),” the Chief PNP stressed.
Eleazar said that he had already ordered a thorough investigation on the incident, with the focus on whether or not the use of gun to disable vehicle is appropriate.
He said all the policemen involved in the car chase are now under restrictive custody pending the result of the investigation.
“We assure the public that disciplinary measures will be imposed on the personnel involved and corrective measures will be implemented in order to prevent the repeat of this incident,” said Eleazar.
Apologies and assistance
I would like to apologize to the Grab driver who was hit by a stray bullet in this incident. I would like to assure you and your family that we will take care of all the medical expenses of your hospitalization and we shall also extend financial assistance that will also cover the period of your recovery,” said Eleazar.
The Chief PNP said they would welcome and respect if the Grab driver would take legal action over the incident.
But Eleazar said that as a matter of police protocol, the incident will automatically investigated by the Internal Affairs Service.