LTO says Sanvicente permanently banned from driving but can still register new car

LTO says Sanvicente permanently banned from driving but can still register new car
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.

MANILA, Philippines — Jose Antonio San Vicente, the driver behind the wheel of an SUV who went viral for running over a security guard in Ortigas, is perpetually banned from driving but can still purchase and even register a new car if he so desires, the Land Transportation Office said Friday. 

To recall, San Vicente's license was revoked after he failed to show up for hearings at the LTO. He is also perpetually disqualified from having a driver's license.

Speaking in an interview aired over DZMM TeleRadyo, lawyer Romeo Vera Cruz, LTO officer-in-charge said that despite the charges held against him, buying a new motor vehicle is San Vicente's right. 

"He can buy a new car, he just can't operate that vehicle...we don't have the authority to stop [him from buying] because it is his right to buy a motor vehicle," Vera Cruz said in mixed Filipino and English. 

Vera Cruz urged the public to continue reporting traffic violations like that of San Vicente, which went viral on social media largely because of video footage taken by concerned motorists who witnessed the incident. 

"Those videos posted on Facebook are very helpfull, and those can be used. That is sufficient," Vera Cruz said in Filipino.

"This is the process: ‘When we see a video and then we identify it, we show cause order to the owner because we don’t know who is driving."

But even without a license, what is stopping him from still taking his car out for a ride? 

"That's really a possibility. But if he's caught driving without a license, he [can be arrested]...We cannot prevent that," Vera Cruz said in Filipino. 

San Vicente is facing complaints of frustrated murder and abandonment of one's victim.

The Philippine National Police hosted a press conference for San Vicente, his parents, and lawyer which raised questions from the public on how the police treat wealthy people in conflict with the law.

He was eventually allowed to go home and was not arrested, pending preliminary investigation into the complaints he is facing.

— Franco Luna 



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