Taho-throwing Chinese woman now detained by Bureau of Immigration

Coconuts Manila

Things are escalating quickly for the woman involved in that viral MRT taho-throwing incident.

Zhang Jiale, the Chinese student who infamously threw the soybean curd drink at a uniformed police officer, is now under immigration custody.

She was caught by authorities from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) yesterday, and is now considered an “undesirable alien,” BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said, according to CNN Philippines. She is currently in the BI’s detention facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

According to Sandoval, Zhang was charged for “undesirability, violation of the terms and conditions of her visa, [and] for posing as a risk to public interest.”

Zhang’s lawyer, however, called the arrest an “abduction.”

“She was literally abducted … and another thing also this procedure is illegal,” lawyer Sandra Respall told GMA News’ Unang Balita. 

Respall and Zhang refused to go with the BI, which allegedly led to authorities physically lifting the Chinese national. The lawyer said she also heard Zhang screaming and asking for help.

Sandoval, however, maintained that the BI agents were in the right in trying to arrest her because they were already given an official mission order, GMA News reported. Sandoval said that Zhang is now facing a deportation case.

This came after Zhang posted bail at a Mandaluyong City police station yesterday; she was released at around 5pm, ABS-CBN News reported. She had been there since Saturday for throwing a cup of taho at PO1 William Cristobal because she was barred from bringing it inside the MRT Boni Station.

The metro’s train lines have banned bottled drinks and other liquids from their stations following the deadly Jolo, Sulu blast late last month.

Zhang has apologized for what she did and even said in an interview with GMA News that she “really love[s]” Filipinos.

But the issue had already become a national controversyby then, provoking the ire of regular citizens and authorities. Yesterday, the Mandaluyong City Prosecutor’s office released a document saying that it has recommended for Zhang to be charged for direct assault.

According to reports, Zhang is 23 years old and has been living in the Philippines for six years.

Her foster parent Oscar Bautista Saplato has come to her defense and told Radyo Inquirer in a report today that the student had been sick for a week when the incident happened. Saplato said that Zhang had not been going to class and was worried about not doing school work.

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