Cabaero: Getting correct spelling of SUV driver’s name

·2 min read

Getting the name of the sports utility vehicle (SUV) driver who ran over a security guard and getting the correct spelling of his name was as circuitous as the police action on the incident.

San Vicente or Sanvicente? Arrest or cannot arrest yet?

It took several days after the incident for the police to reveal the identity of the SUV driver. First reports named him “Jose Antonio San Vicente.” Some media reports spelled his last name as “San Vicente,” others as “Sanvicente.” It wasn’t clear who got it right the first time. He was identified as the person who drove the car that ran over Christian Joseph Floralde, who was directing traffic at an intersection in Mandaluyong City, on June 5, 2022.

It was when the SUV driver and his parents held a press conference last June 15 that the media got the correct spelling of his name. Jose Antonio Sanvicente.

Journalists are trained to get the spelling of names right as part of the requirement of accuracy. Police are also sticklers to accuracy, especially in naming parties to a crime. A spelling mistake could mean a different person. Even that detail about the correct spelling of Sanvicente was not given immediately.

Prior to the press conference, social media users demanded that the police identify the driver and arrest him. But police officials explained their delayed action saying they cannot go after the SUV driver because they did not have an arrest warrant and that Sanvicente was entitled to due process.

When Sanvicente hit the leg of security guard Floralde at the intersection of Julia Vargas Avenue and St. Francis Street in Mandaluyong City, it was an accident. It stopped being an accident when the driver proceeded to run over him.

If the entire incident were an accident, the driver could have stopped to check on Floralde and seek medical help for him. That is what the law requires when you get into a road accident. But Sanvicente proceeded to drive, running over the fallen guard. That part was no longer an accident.

The way the police handled the case has brought embarrassment to the force as government officials, namely outgoing Senate President Vicente Sotto III and incoming senator JV Ejercito, media personalities, and social media users demanded that Sanvicente be arrested and prosecuted.

Sanvicente, 34, apologized to Floralde during the press conference.

The investigation of Sanvicente is now with the prosecutor’s office. But, aside from the investigation on Sanvicente, there should also be a probe into how the police handled the case at their level to address concerns over the unequal implementation of the law for the rich and the poor.

It will give police officials the chance to prove there was no personal relationship with the Sanvicentes following the viral photo that showed an official leaning deferentially towards the driver’s father. You wouldn’t see that kind of exchange if the suspect in a road violation were poor.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting