MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has found probable cause to indict former army reservist Vhon Martin Tanto for shooting to death cyclist Mark Vincent Garalde in a road rage incident in Quiapo, Manila last July 25.
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In an 8-page resolution signed by Assistant State Prosecutors Jeannette Dacpano and Robert Ong, Jr., approved by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva and Prosecutor General Claro Arellano, the DOJ found cause to indict Tanto for murder, and serious physical injuries for the injuries sustained by Rosell Bondoc who was hit by a stray bullet fired through Tanto's caliber .45 revolver.
The charge against Tanto involving the accidental shooting of Bondoc was downgraded from the original charge of frustrated murder.
"[I]t is difficult for a prudent man to ignore that the evidence adduced against respondent that there is sufficient basis to engender a well-founded belief that he is probably guilty thereof. [B]ased on the admission made by respondent Tanto, which contained details that only the person who committed the crime could have possibly known, it is pristine clear that he was the one who intentionally shot victim Garalde and involuntarily injuring victim Bondoc.
"[T]here is no iota of doubt, that there is probable cause to charge respondent for murder and serious physical injuries," the resolution read.
Garalde was shot by Tanto four times, at close range, after a traffic altercation. Witness Bryan B. Yu positively identified Tanto and executed an affidavit attesting to the incident, corroborated by Tanto's voluntary admission. The incident was caught by a CCTV camera.
Tanto fled Manila for several days, but was later arrested in Masbate.
The charge against him for the injuries sustained by Bondoc was downgraded, after the DOJ noted that Bondoc "was involuntarily shot on her abdomen by respondent" and "intent to kill was lacking."