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Consequence of a Wrong Decision

ALLEZ - Jose Vicente ‘JV’ Araneta (The Freeman) - February 8, 2021 - 12:00am

Jose Romilo Blanco won’t be returning to his family. Ever. This after he was hit by a pick up truck very early morning that Sunday, two weeks ago.

To think that he went to bed early so that he could get up in the morning, still dark, so that he could ride avoid the traffic and enjoy the cool weather. It was supposed to be a Funday probably with friends.

The following day, the driver was arrested. 24-year-old suspect Joseph Elgie Gentapa, was arrested in Talisay, his white pickup truck looked he had hit an electric pole, but the only difference was that the pole was a human being. That the suspect never bothered to stop or call for help just goes to show what kind of human being he is.

According to the police, the suspect would be facing charges of “Reckless Imprudence resulting in Homicide, and violation of Section 55 of Republic Act 4136 for abandoning the victim in the area of the accident.” But, whatever!

The legal charges that the suspect would be facing reads very official and scary, but the only thing that’s scary is that the suspect will eventually not pay the price, or even closer, that Jose Romilo Blanco paid for his. He has a chance to do it again. Our laws are like that, the car is the “Hari sa Karsada” and woe to the other users of the road.

We Filipinos have been known as one of the most respectful and accommodating people in the world. Yet, when it comes to the streets, we feel like it’s our own personal fiefdom. Car drivers hate motorcycle drivers, and both hate the bus drivers and all three hate the cyclist.

Yes, our roads are narrow but cyclists are taxpayers, too. We have the right to be on the road for recreation, sports or to go to work. Why do drivers scream loudly at us on the road and on FB, to “get out of the road!”, yet they don’t bemoan over a parking 10-wheeler on a curbside.

Other than the pedestrian, the cyclist is the most vulnerable road user out there. Last week, while going up to Busay, a cyclist in front of me was inches away from getting hit by fast and reckless red car belonging a soft drink company. The soft drink employee was clearly in a hurry, horns a-screaming and crossing the yellow centre line. What is wrong with that driver? How long would it take to slow down, give way to the cyclist and move on? An hour? 10 seconds?

That was the decision that suspect failed to recognize before hitting Jose Romilo Blanco. The victim’s family could cry out to the justice system but we all know that in the end, after the raw emotions have died down, it would end up with a financial remuneration. The victim family would be left with a gaping hole in their lives while the suspect would go on with his. Unfair.

Our laws about vehicular accidents that leads to permanent disability or death needs to be amended now. We complain of bad traffic, yet do you really know what causes it? Impunity. The freedom from a consequence of a wrong decision.

DECISION
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