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No close ties between Danao, hit-and-run suspect's family —PNP spox

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday denied that its officer-in-charge, Police Lieutenant General Vicente Danao Jr., personally knew the family of the suspect in June 5 hit-and-run incident in Mandaluyong City.

"As far as we know, hindi ito personal na kilala ng ating officer-in-charge [our officer-in-charge doesn't personally know them]," said PNP spokesperson Police Colonel Jean Fajardo in an Unang Balita interview.

Fajardo was referring to the Sanvicente family whose son, Jose Antonio, was allegedly behind the wheel when their SUV ran over and abandoned security guard Christian Floralde on June 5 in Mandaluyong City.

After more than a week, Jose Antonio surfaced and held a press conference in Camp Crame with his family to air their side of the story.

According to Fajardo, Jose Antonio's parents were the ones who sought contact with Danao through intermediaries.

"Ito pong tatay o mga magulang ang nag-initiate, naghanap ng kakilala na puwede po nilang makausap at makarating kay chief PNP o OIC [It was the parents who sought contact with PNP OIC through intermediaries]," she said.

Fajardo said it was during the June 15 press conference that Danao personally met the Sanvicentes for the first time.

The PNP is currently under fire for allegedly giving VIP treatment to the Sanvicente family. On the internet, netizens have been asking why Jose Antonio is not yet in custody.

Fajardo reiterated during the interview that they have no legal basis to arrest Jose Antonio since no arrest warrant has been issued against him by the court.

"Hopefully, once maisampa yung information sa korte, upon determination ng probable cause ng ating korte ay mag-issue ng warrant of arrest para yun po ang gagawin nating legal basis para maisailalim sa PNP custody ito pong nasabing tao," Fajardo said.

(Hopefully, once the information has been filed with the court and the court has determined probable cause and issued arrest warrant, the PNP will now have legal basis to take custody of the suspect.)

Fajardo likewise denied that VIP treatment has been extended to the suspect.

"Naiintindihan namin yung damdamin ng ilan nating mga kababayan, but on the part of the PNP, gusto po naming i-assure na kapag po tayo ay nagi-implement ng batas ay wala po tayong pinipili na kulay o anumang estado sa buhay," she said.

(We understand the sentiment of some of our countrymen, but on the part of the PNP, we want to assure them that when we implement the law, we don't look at any color or status in life.)

The PNP has filed frustrated murder and abandonment of one's own victim against the suspect. A preliminary investigation is set to be held on Friday morning. —KBK, GMA News