Cyberbullying victim sues Top Gear PH editorial board

Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 12 2016 03:41 PM

A Facebook user who was wrongfully identified as a suspect in a controversial road rage killing last month has sued the editorial board of Top Gear Philippines for online libel. 

In his complaint, Punzalan said he wants Top Gear Philippines editor-in-chief Vernon Sarne to resign for erroneously tagging him in the Quiapo road rage incident.

Sarne earlier took full responsibility for posting a link to Punzalan's Facebook profile on the Top Gear Philippines FB page. This was after Punzalan was falsely accused as the killer of cyclist Mark Vincent Garalde. 

Top Gear Philippines also posted a photo of Punzalan's car, which was coincidentally a Hyundai Eon model, similar to the car in the incident.

"I was responsible for posting the photo of Mr. Punzalan's vehicle, and I realize now that I shouldn't have done so. I accept full responsibility. This is all on me," Sarne said.

"The buck stops here. This is all my fault," he added.

Top Gear PH sorry for identifying wrong suspect in road rage

Punzalan earlier told ABS-CBN's TV Patrol that he and his wife had to sleep at the National Bureau of Investigation after receiving death threats online after the incident. 

"I was traumatized. I feared for my life," he said. 

Top Gear, balak kasuhan ng napagkamalang suspek sa pamamaril

The NBI later confirmed that Punzalan was not the killer in the Garalde case. 

A road rage incident leads to the death of cyclist Mark Vincent Garalde at P. Casal Street in Quiapo, Manila. The suspect in the killing was later arrested in Masbate. Nikon Celis, ABS-CBN News

The real killer, ex-Army reservist Von Tanto, was arrested in Masbate last July 29.

EXCL: Road rage suspect says cyclist was arrogant