Police have recovered the Toyota FJ Cruiser owned by musician Jojo Valerio, who figured in a traffic altercation with another motorist while using a number 8 protocol plate, reserved for members of the Lower House of Congress.
Chief Superintendent Roberto Fajardo, Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group director, said police recovered the vehicle in Quezon City early Friday.
He said the vehicle had been altered and painted over, and the protocol plate replaced with a regular license plate.
Fajardo said the Land Transportation Office has not issued new number 8 protocol plates since the 16th Congress. He added the use of these expired plates are unauthorized and will be subject to confiscation and fine of P5,000.
Valerio, a member of Lil Eyes band, earlier confirmed punching the driver of a speeding sedan last November 11, saying his 4-month-old child was hurt after the other vehicle cut him off.
Asked about the use of the number "8" protocol plate, Valerio evaded the question.
"There was no intention of introducing myself as a congressman or anak ng congressman. Unang baba ko, wala akong sinabi... Kung may gagamitin po ako, sa pamilya ko po. Bakit ako magna-name drop ng isang tao na hindi ko po kilala?" he said.
Valerio was referring to Pampanga 1st District Rep. Carmelo Lazatin II who was dragged into the issue. The lawmaker also denied owning the SUV.
Valerio earlier posted a P4,000 bail for his temporary liberty for less physical injury charges and violation of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code law.