Sotto hits PNP’s special treatment of SUV driver, family: ‘Why treat them as VIPs?’

Published June 18, 2022, 4:05 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Outgoing Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Saturday, June 18 questioned why the Philippine National Police (PNP), did not follow the proper and necessary procedures against the family of the suspect in the Mandaluyong City hit-and-run accident.

Sotto said he believes PNP Officer-in-Charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. has a lot to explain, especially since the parents of the suspect, Jose Antonio Sanvicente, was seen showing extending his hand to the mother and putting it on her forehead to show respect.

In the first place, he said police should have immediately conducted a drug test against the suspect when he surrendered in accordance with the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act.

“Nangunguna ako sa na disappoint kasi ako ang author ng anti-drunk and drugged driving law eh (I am one of those disappointed because I was one of the author of the anti-drunk and drugged driving law),” Sotto said in an interview on Radio DWIZ.

“Whether or not may makikita ka or wala (sa drug test) sundin mo ang batas. Bakit vinip mo? Ganun ka simple labanan eh kung driver ng jeepney nakasaga dyan, baka ginulpi nila yun eh (Whether or nor not you see anything from the drug test, just follow the law. Why treat them as a VIP? That’s how easy it is to fight. If the suspect was jeepney driver, he could have already been mobbed),” he pointed out.

Sotto said Danao should particularly explain why the PNP did not follow the procedures.

“Oo, dahil marami masyadong hindi nasunod na procedures (There were so many procedures that were not followed),” he said.

“Ang daming pwede naman nilang gayahin, andyan sina Sen. Ping Lacson, Guillermo Eleazar, Bato Dela Rosa, ang gagaling na PNP chief yang mga yan ah di nagpapalusot ng ganyan. Walang VIP, VIP sa mga yan ah, eh bat ngayon ganyan? (They could have followed the actions of Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, Guillermo Eleazar, and Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa who were good PNP chiefs and they don’t come up with such excuse. No VIP treatment. Why is that happening now)?” the Senate leader pointed out.

Sotto also said he could not accept how the PNP officials were raising technicalities as reason why they cannot subject Sanvicente to a drug test.

He said the PNP officials should have brought him to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) immediately for a comprehensive drug test.

“Kung negative, eh di okay, thank you…pero bakit ayaw nyo? (If he tested negative, then it’s okay, thank you. But why refuse?),” he said.

Sotto also said the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs in the 19th Congress should conduct a hearing and investigation on the issue so the matter won’t happen again.

“Alamin nila kung papano I-amend ang batas para di na maulit ito (They can study how to amend the law so this won’t happen again),” he said.

“Pero ako ang principal author nun eh, tingnan ko baka meron dun penalty yung di gumawa eh, yung di sumunod sa procedures (But as principal author, I might need to check if there is already a penalty for those who failed to follow the procedures),” Sotto said.