Police Captain Ronald Saquilayan, the controversial officer who allegedly mauled Grab driver Florence Norial, denied today in a presser that the latter’s rights were violated during her arrest.
Norial accused the Pateros cop of assaulting her during an altercation in front of a Starbucks cafe in Taguig City earlier this week. The driver alleged that Saquilayan’s car was blocking the cafe’s driveway and that he refused to give way to her. She added that he ignored her despite her repeated attempts to get him to move out of the way. Norial also alleged that at one point in their confrontation, Saquilayan suddenly opened his car door, which hit her and left her injured.
Meanwhile, Saquilayan accused Norial of being unruly and said he had to arrest her because she allegedly pushed his car’s door towards him, which hit him on the head.
The police captain said today that he read the Miranda Rights to Norial during her arrest, contrary to what she and her family claimed.
“During the period of time that I arrested her, I introduced myself as a policeman, I told her her rights during the scuffle and of course, how can she remember it, we were in a scuffle, so that’s what happened,” the cop said in English and Filipino.
Mirza Miguel Shahzad, Norial’s boyfriend, said that his partner was not given the chance to hire a lawyer when she was arrested and detained at the Taguig Police Station, a claim rejected by Saquilayan.
“When we were inside Starbucks, I allowed her to take a video. From that time of that event, she was holding her cellphone. What she said about being denied of calling a lawyer, she was holding a cellphone, at the substation her sister and boyfriend arrived,” Saquilayan said.
“She had all the time to call a lawyer. There was no denial of rights like what they were saying,” he added.
In a separate interview today with broadcaster Raffy Tulfo, Saquilayan insisted that it was Norial who was at fault. He added that he could have backed out of the cafe’s driveway only if she had asked nicely.
“[But] she was aggressively knocking on my window and shouting at me, [saying] harsh words so I said, ‘I have to stand my [ground],'” he said.
Meanwhile, National Capital Region Police Office chief Major General Debold Sinas yesterday defended Saquilayan and alleged that Norial harassed the Pateros policeman.
“The woman was threatening, according to the statement of the police. [She said], ‘Oh so you’re a police ha, I’ll shame you in front of the media, I’ll bring you to Tulfo.’ Of course, the police was irritated because he was being bullied and threatened so he arrested her and brought her to the station,” Sinas, who has had his share of controversies, said.
Shahzad, Norial’s boyfriend, has denied Sinas’ allegations. He said his partner did not threaten to expose Saquilayan to the media.