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SUV owner in hit-and-run gets final LTO summons

Emmanuel Tupas, Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star
SUV owner in hit-and-run gets final LTO summons
Screengrabs from a viral video by Miko Angelo Ramos show a sport utility vehicle, reportedly driven by Jose Antonio San Vicente Jr., running over security guard Christian Floralde on Sunday.
Screengrabs

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Office yesterday gave the owner of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that ran over a security guard in Mandaluyong City a last chance to attend the LTO hearing tomorrow.

LTO chief Edgar Galvante issued the final summons after Jose Antonio San Vicente Sr. failed to appear during Tuesday’s hearing.

“If he fails to show up again, it means he is waiving his chance to explain his side. The LTO would decide on what sanctions to impose against him,” Galvante said in an interview on dzBB.

“His legal counsel can attend the hearing on his behalf. But of course, we want to hear his explanation because he was the one driving the vehicle,” he added.

Based on the police verification with the LTO, San Vicente was identified as the registered owner of the SUV, a Toyota RAV 4 (NCO-3781), which hit Christian Floralde who was directing traffic at the corner of J. Vargas and St. Francis street in Barangay Wack-Wack on Sunday.

San Vicente faces suspension or revocation of his driver’s license, according to Galvante.

Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said they received information that it was San Vicente’s son and namesake who was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.

“If he is not the person driving the vehicle, then he needs to prove it,” Galvante said.

On Monday, police filed charges of frustrated homicide and abandonment of one’s own victim under Article 275 of the Revised Penal Code against the suspect before the Mandaluyong prosecutor’s office.

Police also filed yesterday criminal charges against three security guards of a subdivision in Quezon City for allegedly not cooperating in the probe of the accident involving San Vicente.

Brig. Gen. Orlando Yebra, director of the Eastern Police District, said a complaint for obstruction of justice was filed against Jay-ar Gonzales, Gerald Paningbatan and Nixon Palogan before the Quezon City prosecutor’s office.

The three are security guards of Ayala Heights Subdivision in Barangay Old Balara where San Vicente resides.

Yebra said the security guards allegedly barred police investigators from entering the gated community.

PNP Directorate for Operations chief Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon urged the public to refrain from threatening the SUV owner.

He said posting threats against San Vicente is counterproductive.

“Huwag po nating hayaang mamayani ang galit sa ating mga puso dahil wala pong maibubungang maganda ito,” he said in a statement.

“It is enough that we work together to help solve crimes and maintain peace and order. Let your PNP take care of the rest,” De Leon added.

He lauded witnesses and netizens who helped solve the case.

The incident, which was caught in a dashcam video that was uploaded on Facebook, drew outrage from the public as the SUV driver did not stop after Floralde was hit.

Instead of stopping, the driver ran over Floralde and sped away.

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