Survivor recounts van strafing

Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - September 5, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – A 20-year-old management trainee recounted yesterday how he survived the strafing of a passenger van by a Philippine Constabulary general’s son that left two persons dead in Barangay White Plains, Quezon City on Sept. 1.

Duke Angelo David believes that a miracle saved him from death. He has been discharged from The Medical City in Pasig, where he was treated for a bullet wound in the back.

David said the UV Express van was traversing Katipunan Avenue at around 7 p.m. on Tuesday when he heard gunshots.

He said he was unaware that they were being shot as he was busy playing games on his mobile phone.

After a few minutes, he felt that the van had stopped and saw its driver, Ronebert Ycot, bleeding from a gunshot wound in the head.

“At first, I did not know that we were shot and that I was hit by a bullet until some of the passengers started screaming,” David said in a statement submitted to the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).

David said he was seated beside Ycot and assistant bank manager Joyce Santos in the front. Santos and Ycot died in the hospital after the strafing.

“When I got out of the van I sought help from the security guards,” he said.

David borrowed a mobile phone and called his parents to tell them what happened.

He said Santos and Ycot were unconscious at that time.

An ambulance arrived and rushed them to the hospital in Pasig City.

David was originally seated near the window but Santos asked him if they could exchange seats as it would be awkward for her to be sitting in between two men, Chief Inspector Rodel Marcelo, chief of the QCPD Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit, said.

Jose Maria Abaya, son of the late general Antonio Abaya and nephew of former Armed Forces chief Narciso Abaya, turned himself in and confessed to shooting the van because he thought it would take him back to the drug rehabilitation center.

Abaya is facing two counts of murder, frustrated murder and illegal possession of firearms. He is being held at the QCPD headquarters at Camp Karingal.

The victims’ families vowed to pursue the charges against Abaya, who had been linked to shootings in the past.

ABAYA ANTONIO ABAYA ARMED FORCES BARANGAY WHITE PLAINS CAMP KARINGAL CHIEF INSPECTOR RODEL MARCELO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION AND DETECTION UNIT DUKE ANGELO DAVID JOSE MARIA ABAYA JOYCE SANTOS SANTOS AND YCOT
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