Frustrated murder, abandonment charges filed vs SUV owner in mall guard hit-and-run

Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 07 2022 02:26 AM

MANILA—Police in Mandaluyong City on Monday filed 2 cases against the owner of the SUV that figured in the hit-and-run of a mall security guard last Sunday.

Mandaluyong chief of police Col. Gauvin Unos told ABS-CBN News via text message that cases of frustrated murder and abandonment of one’s victim or violation of Article 275 of the Revised Penal Code were filed with the city prosecutor’s office late Monday afternoon.

The respondent had been verified with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) as the registered owner of the vehicle that bumped into and later ran over the 31-year-old mall security guard in the incident caught in a viral video.

Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo told TeleRadyo it is police procedure in vehicular incidents to file charges versus the registered owner even if the driver has yet to be identified.

She added the burden of proof would be on the owner to prove they were not driving or involved in the incident.

“Frustrated murder po dahil obviously ay may intention on his part na deliberately sinagasaan ang security guard pati na violation ng Article 275 or abandonment of one’s victim,” Fajardo said in a phone interview. (SRO, TeleRadyo, June 6, 9:02 PM)

The vehicle owner was earlier issued a show-cause order by the LTO to explain why he or she should not face reckless driving charges.

LTO chief Asec. Edgar Galvante told TeleRadyo they have yet to determine if the registered owner or someone else was driving the SUV.

“Kasama iyan sa procedure na pinagpapaliwanag siya para ma-establish talaga ang tunay na pangyayari. Katulad noon, hindi namin alam sa ngayon kung siya mismo—ang registered owner—ang nagmamaneho o may nagmamaneho para sa kanya,” he said. 

Senator-elect JV Ejercito said he was contacted by the owner to say his son was the driver and said they would surrender to authorities and face any consequences.

Galvante added that in incidents like this, the driver could still be liable for administrative charges even if the victim chooses to drop the case against them after a settlement.

“Kung may kasalanan ang driver, hindi komo pinatawad siya ng kanyang biktima, eh absuwelto na rin siya sa administrative isasampa sa kanya. Kung ma-involve kasi ang driver sa ganyang mga insidente, may karampatan, may kaukulang administrative sanction na mai-impose ang LTO.”

The LTO’s investigation would determine if it could lead to a suspension or even revocation of the involved’s license to drive.

Police said lawyers from the camp of the vehicle’s owner have already approached that of the injured security guard and assured they would cover his hospitalization expenses.

Meanwhile, Unos said Mandaluyong Police are also preparing to file cases of obstruction of justice against the guards of the subdivision in Quezon City where the owner’s address is listed.

This after police following up on the case had been prevented by the guards to enter when they came there at 5 am Monday morning.

“Hindi sila pinapasok ng guwardiya doon dahil walang sumasagot sa tawag nila, kaya hindi na nagpumilit ang ating kapulisan. Subalit when they insisted and the security guards manning the base ng subdivision doon, they still refused to allow our officer na makapasok, kaya nga pinag-aaralan ng PNP kung magsasampa ng obstruction of justice,” Fajardo said. 

Fajardo added that after police were unable to reach the owner of the vehicle until afternoon, they decided to proceed with the regular filing of the case. 

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