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Metro

Ateneo player sued for drunken antics

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - A basketball varsity player of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) is facing charges and sanctions over a viral video that captured his supposed drunken antics in Quezon City early Sunday morning.

Emmanuel Fernandez, director of ADMU’s university athletics office, confirmed that the man in the viral video – who claimed to be a councilor and challenged other motorists to a fistfight – is Blue Eagles player John Apacible.

The video, first posted by Top Gear Philippines on its Facebook page, showed an apparently drunk Apacible introducing himself as a councilor to a motorist who confronted him over his behavior on the road.

He was holding a “councilor” vanity plate, and challenged the person taking the video to a fistfight during the encounter.

“In the Philippines, if you have a protocol plate, you’re allowed to drive drunk and do this for all to see,” the caption on the post by Top Gear Philippines read.

The video showed policemen, who tried to intervene, allowing Apacible to drive away despite his apparent drunken state.

Malicious mischief

Businessman Ryan Bautista, who made the video, filed a malicious mischief case against Apacible after he found a dent on his car, said Superintendent Limuel Obon, commander of the Kamuning police station.

Bautista, 37, of Dagat-Dagatan in Malabon, accused Apacible of kicking his red Honda sedan several times during the three-minute video.

Bautista said he tried to stop Apacible as he was manhandling someone along Timog Avenue near Quezon Avenue at around midnight on Sunday, but the athlete turned on him.

Obon said Bautista and Apacible were both invited to the police station to settle the issue, but the latter went inside his car and evaded the police officers.

Cops under probe

The policemen caught on video being cursed at by Apacible – Senior Police Officer 1 Jaime Morato and Police Officer 1 Randel Candelaria – were told to submit written reports on the incident, explaining what happened and what they had done. 

Obon said Morato and Candelaria will face administrative charges if they were found to have committed lapses in dealing with Apacible.

Morato and Candelaria were patrolling the area when they saw the commotion, but refused to report the incident to the traffic department as it was not a traffic-related incident, he said.

Obon said their fate will still depend on the recommendation of the Quezon City Police District’s Special Inspectorate and Legal Office and the decision of QCPD director Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio.

He said the policemen are still reporting for duty since no complaint was filed against them. 

“They could not chase after him. They were not in a position to block him,” Obon said, adding that they were able to get the plate number of the black Ford Focus that Apacible used during the incident. 

Land Transportation Officer (LTO) records show that the Focus (ACA-7111) was registered to a certain Ronald Sitchon Lotoc of Caloocan City, but Obon said the vehicle was apparently given to Apacible as a gift. 

Despite Apacible’s behavior, the Kamuning police station will not file charges against him, Obon said, explaining that what Apacible did to the police officers was “part of the risks of the job.”

 Suspended

Blue Eagles team manager Epok Quim-po, in a statement released by Ateneo’s student publication Guidon, said Apacible will face game suspensions and will not be allowed to practice.

“John made a mistake and it will not be tolerated. This is his own doing which will result to disciplinary actions,” Quimpo was quoted as saying.

 “John apologized to the whole team, including the coaching staff and management. His teammates will be supporting him through this trying time, more so in the faith that he will become a better Atenean,” added the team manager.

Fernandez, in a memo released Monday night, said Apacible “behaved in an unacceptable manner during an early Sunday morning encounter.”

“John deeply regrets his reprehensible behavior and sincerely apologizes to all parties concerned,” he added.

In 2014, the government started implementing a stricter anti-drunk and drugged driving law, with violators facing penalties ranging from three months to 20 years in prison and fines of P20,000 up to P500,000.

ACIRC APACIBLE ATENEO BAUTISTA BAUTISTA AND APACIBLE BLUE EAGLES MORATO AND CANDELARIA OBON POLICE TOP GEAR PHILIPPINES VIDEO
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